TODAY in HISTORY: April 21st, 1966
Back in 1966, Ethopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie I, travelled to the island of Jamaica and is known as Grounation Day, an important Rastafari holy day.
Some 100,000 Rastafari from all over Jamaica came to welcome the Ethopian Emperor on Palisadoes Airport in Kingston that day, beating calabash drums, lighting firecrackers, waving signs, and blowing Abeng horns.
Selassie waved to the adorning crowd below and legendary Rastafarian Elder Mortimer Planno escorted the Emperor off the plane to an awaiting vehicle that drove him to the King’s House, to meet then Governor-General Clifford Campbell.
The visit was a historical event in the development of the Rastafari movement. Rastafarians (who believe that Selassie was God incarnate), gained a measure of respectability for the first time and by making the religion more acceptable, it later paved the way for the commercialization of Reggae music!
The chant “Abu Ye! Abu Ye Abu ye! Abu ye!” chant is an element of Grounation Day festivities.
Contributor: Simone D. (follow on twitter: @SSDProductions)