Celebrating Changó’s Birthday

Our founder, Rev. Dr. E. with Changó on the 11th anniversary of his ordination as a priest

On November 4th our church celebrated our founder’s (Rev. Dr. E.) eleventh anniversary of his ordination as a priest of Changó. This event is usually called an “Ocha birthday” as it marks the birth of a person’s life as a priest in Santeria and the birthdate of his or her crowning orisha. In this case, it was Chango’s birthday in our church. (It’s important to note that this is not the same as a “saint’s day” that some people celebrate where an orisha is honored on the feast day of the Catholic saint with whom it is syncretized. While some godfamilies observe this practice, we do not adhere to that practice in our church.)

As part of this celebration, we set up a traditional throne made of draped fabrics to commemorate the throne Rev. Dr. E. lived under for the seven days of his initiation. All of the orishas he received at his ordination were placed under the throne’s canopy and decorated with paños (altar cloths) and mazos (beaded shrine decorations). A plaza of fruits are placed under the throne as offerings, and are then distributed to any visitors who came to pay their respects to Changó on his birthday.

A priest’s ocha birthday is a time for the godfamily to come together and honor the priest’s anniversary as well as pay respect to the orishas with food, fellowship and fun.

1 comment

  1. Jose Ramon Gomez

    To: “Santeria Church of the Orishas”
    Thank you for all the information and dedication you have shared with us. We have so many questions; and you bring so many answers, you also bring.,peace to our minds, and closure for a lot of misinformed souls, who through plain innocence; either by lack of efforts on their part, or because of what we humans call “Destiny”., have been misled, confused or plainly misguided’.,by the forces hidden in everything opposite to our “God the Creator’s” will, and that we as the only animals on this planet with our superior minds; capable of reasoning and understanding the consequences to our actions; have made possible and allowed to exist.
    I believe in the magnificence of our creation, the gift of our existence, and above all in the oportunity that is given to all of us.,to coexist in harmony, in balance with nature & above all in a world without violence were Peace rules over all that exists.
    I hope the information I’ve enjoyed reading so much, teaches me to find the inner peace & true love I’ve searched for since my birth, with the blessings of all the Saints, and by the miraculous powers of their existence and through my behavior & prayers I could become a better “Santero” (Yemaya & Babalu Aye for 36 years).,to all that surrounds me today, and perhaps I’m able to bring peace and happiness to those I’ve known, and ask for celestial justice for those who knowing the choices they’re given have prefered to be participants of evil acts.

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