Gaani Festival 2019: the ritual journey will take place on 09th November

The Gaani Festival 2019 will take place in Nikki on the 08th, 09th and 10th of November. So decided the Weekly Council of the Imperial Court met on Friday. 

The Emperor Sabi Na Yina III on his horse in full ritual

The ritual course which is the highlight of the event will take place on 09th November. This day, the emperor will have to browse the different sites for rituals. They are sites of ancient emperors or ancient citizens of the empire who had distinguished themselves by their bravery, their sense of honor and dignity. It is also on this day that kings, princes, dignitaries present themselves before the sacred drums to honor the manes of the ancestors.

The day before, on November 8th at dusk, the ceremony of release of the sacred drums will remain one of the highlights of this celebration. The sacred drums, in addition to their spiritual role, are an instrument of communication to announce great events, and very particularly, the Gaani.

The third day is Kayessi. A great moment during which the kings and dignitaries renew their allegiance to the

Allegiance to the Emperor

emperor. It is indeed a highly scenic ritual through different postures to greet the emperor. Some crawl, others simply lie down on their stomachs, others still standing, turn their backs to the emperor. His defense minister, he simulates an arrow attack that tries to parry another, with the help of a large gilded and mystical cloth.

Moreover, the Kayessi is a great moment of baptism of the Wassangari princes. Here the feminine power has been manifest since the beginning of time. Indeed, the queen mother « Yon Kogui » is the holder

The Queen Mother Yon Kogui

of the razor. It is she who consecrates all the Wassangari, therefore, the future emperor, citizens of the empire. This baptism also represents, apart from its spiritual aspect, a form of annual census of the new princes. This baptism is symbolized by the shaving of princes. Big as little ones are completely shaved head. 

Men put themselves half naked for the occasion. Men and women must

Princes after the shaving

crawl on the elbow, to the Queen Mother in her round hut. A rapid interrogation allows to know the dynasty, the lineage and the generation of the shaving candidate.




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