Letra del año
The Letra del año (English: literally Letter of the year) is an annual proclamation of predictions and advice by Santería babalawo for the coming year, usually issued every December 31 (New Year's Eve on the Gregorian calendar). It originated from the annual predictions made by a council of babalawo during the Odun Ifa (New Year) festival in Yorùbáland during June.
In various Latin American countries which practice Afro-American religions derived from Yoruba religion, a national council of babalawo is usually responsible for the announcements of predictions. In Cuba, however, at least two national councils (one of which is state-sponsored) offer letras del año.
A particular controversy arose in 2009-2010, when one of the Cuban national councils of babalawo issued a letra which predicted fights for power and an unusually high number of deaths of political leaders in the world, which many media outlets outside Cuba interpreted as being directed to Cuba's own political apparatus. The state-sponsored babalawo council issued its own letra predicting positive outcomes for the 2010 year.
List of babalawo councils
- Cuban Council of Great Priests of Ifa
- Miguel Febles Padrón Commission Organized for the Reading of the Year
- Tata Gaitan Commission Organized for the Reading of the Year
- Council of Babalawos of California
- Temple Yoruba Omó Orisha
- Yoruba Afro-Caribbean Orisha Ayé Association
- Civil Cultural Association of Priests of Ifa (ASOIFA)
ASOIFA is an apolitical Civic Cultural Organization emerged in Venezuela in the search for religious unity and lead all the precepts of IFA.
The Association's main objective is the eventual union of all the Awos, Santeros, Paleros and Aleyos in Venezuela to work together.
- Ilé Ifá Ifá Lola Alfonso Díaz
- Ilé Ifá Gerardo Carrillo
- Yoruba Society of Mexico
- Ilé Iré Esulona
- Ifa Society of Brazil
- Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba in France