(Oromocentre, Melbourne, Adoolessa 7, 2012) Irreechaa is a day of national celebration in Oromia, especially in a sense of Thanksgiving to Waaqa or God; it is primarily originated among the Blue Nile-bound Cushitic people of the Oromo thousands of years ago.
Nowadays, at national level, it is celebrated in the Bishoftu town of Oromia at Lake Arsadii (Hora Arsadi) on the last Sunday of September. During the festival, the Aba Gadaa (traditionally elected national leader), the other community leaders as well as the Oromo community at large give thanks toWaqaa for the blessed transition from the rainy season to the bright and colorful Birra (spring) season.
Regarding this year’s fest, the following call is already made by the Qeerroo Bilisummaa (the Oromo youth struggling for freedom) to all individuals and groups, who are interested in celebrating the next Irreechaa festival:
“Welcome to the coming 2012 Ayyaana Irreechaa (Irreechaa festival)! According to the dhahaa Oromoo/Oromo calender, September 30, 2012 is the annual Thanksgiving day – Irreecha Birraa– of this year. An Irreecha Birraa is a celebration that repeats once in a year in birraa and involves special activities or amusements. It has a lot of importance in the Oromo people’s lives. We celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqa for the blessings and mercies we have received throughout the past year at the sacred grounds of Hora Arsadi. The Irreechaa festival is celebrated every year throughout Oromia and around the world, whereever diaspora Oromo live. We do celebrate Irreechaa, not only to thank Waaqa, but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter associated with nature and creature. OnIrreechaa festival, a collective of friends, families, and relatives gather together and celebrate with joy and happiness. Irreechaa festival brings different peoples closer to each other and make social bonds. We, the Oromo people, celebrate Irreechaa festival in order to live our tradition as a society. You are all invited to be the partaker of our joy!”
Actually, Irreechaa festival is not only traditional, but it is also the day of celebrating and the time of living out bilisummaa/freedom amidst the phenomena of colonization, oppression and subjugation of the Oromo people. Irreechaa is a Bilisummaa-Fest, as a friend of Gadaa.com once coined it. It is the day, on which all Oromo in every walk of life do feel to have freedom from the year-round Woyane’s tyranny.
The Oromo of every creed and region do celebrate Irrreechaa in unison – as a nation, despite the heavy siege of the Woyane invading army surrounding the Hora Arsadi sanctuary, where the celebration takes place at the national level. About 3 million Oromo come together every year to exercise this spirit of freedom and unity, which can help the move of our people towards achieving national sovereignty.