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"Great service" or royal relics bath

“Great service” or royal relics bath

“Great service” or royal relics bath

The “Great service” or royal relics bath is an annual event in Mahajanga. It is scheduled for the full moon week of July at "Doany" in Tsararano ambony. This year, it takes place from 04 to the 11 July 2022.

“Service Be “or royal relics bath

The “Great service” or the “Gathering” is a centuries-old Sakalava practice. It is for the sakalava and all practitioners of the cult of royal ancestors to perpetuate the tradition of bathing the relics of the great Kings ANDRIAMISARA, ANDRIAMANDISOARIVO, ANDRIAMBONIARIVO and ANDRIAGNIANINA. It was the Kings who erected the greatness and pride of the Sakalava Kingdom of Boeny.

The “Great service” is celebrated to the rhythm of the dances, of “call” (specific Sakalava songs), vigils, sessions of “trumpet” (possession rituals during which the spirits of deceased Kings and royal descendants communicate with the living), …

The ceremony consists in covering with shrouds the mortal remains of the first Kings of Boeny resting in the “Zomba”.

Time of worship, the FANOMPOA BE also enables participants to demonstrate their commitment to the moral and spiritual values of society sakalava, to ask for the blessing and benevolence of the royal spirits”.

"Great service" or royal relics bath"Great service" or royal relics bath

The “Doany”

Word “Doany” can have several meanings : palais royal , royal tomb or reliquary.

It is located in Tsararano in the city of Mahajanga. You can discover Sakalava history and culture there.. Not only this Doany is a place dedicated to prayer but also to different ceremonies : offerings, Thanks, blessing requests, … It is indeed a sacred place.

In particular, it is prohibited to :

  • Wear a hat or veil ;
  • Come on Tuesday and Thursday morning (these are the days “fady”) ;
  • wear underwear, dark clothes or loincloths.

On the program this year

The program for 2022 will understand the “Famahana varavaragna” which went well yesterday, literally translated as the opening of doors.

The "Fanomoa Be" or "Fitpoha", the heart of these ceremonial months, will be held on 11 July at 12:30 p.m..

And, to close these months of festivities, there will be the “Rebika” on Friday 15 July at 2:30 p.m.. It is a day of jubilation during which one can see the 4 great Kings dance like their time, in the rite "tromba". (summoning spirits).

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