Rastafari’s are depicted that they smoke joints and grow dreadlocks, I am here to set the record straight. Sure Rastafari’s do have dreads and they do smoke marijuana, but it’s so much deeper than that. Here are 10 facts you might not know about the movement that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s and has since spread its message across the globe.

Rastafarism is more of a way of life than an organized, structured religion, but the beliefs are rooted deeply in traditional spirituality.

Here are 10 things to know about the Ratafarism religion:

  • The religious movement was founded in the 1930s in Jamaica. The majority of its followers are rooted in Jamaica but it’s believed there are around one million Rastafari’s around the world.
  • Rastafarism began as a social stand against the white and middle-class society by the working-class black community.
  • The foundation of Rastafarism beliefs is based on the idea of recapturing the African heritage black people felt was robbed from them when they were taken as slaves to the Caribbean.

Rastafari completely rejects Western society. The Rastafari’s believe they are genuine ancient Israelites.

  • Jamaican socialist Marcus Garvey prophesied in 1927, the black race would be liberated from oppression after a black king was crowned in Africa.
  • The Rastafari’s leader is Haile Selassie I, former emperor of Ethiopia, who was crowned shortly after Garvey’s prophesy. Rastafari believe Selassie is the Messiah or the incarnation of God who would lead people of African origin to the promised land.

He died in 1975 but Rastafari believes he’ll return. Before his coronation, Selassie was known as Ras Tafari Makonnen, which is where the movement gets its name.

  • Rastafari’s are super healthy! Generally, Rastafari’s are pretty health-conscious.

They consider their body to be a temple, based on the Old Testament teachings. Rastafari’s do not drink alcohol or eat food that is not nourishing to their body, which includes meat. Many follow a strict dietary law called ital, which states that all food must be completely natural and raw.

  • The Rastafari’s believe marijuana, known as ganja, is sacred.

It’s used to clean the body and mind and bring people closer to God. Ganja sessions are often accompanied by Bible readings. Dreadlocks are another symbol of the Rastafari’s as they believe in letting their hair grow long without cutting.

Bob Marley is the most famous Rastafari. He brought Rastafarism to the American masses in the late 1970s and early 1980s through reggae. His lyrics are full of Rastafari doctrine and spirit.

Bob Marley had such a distinctive sound that it reached out and touched almost every corner of the world. One of my favorite song is where he shared the idea that three little birds will tell a person that “every little thing is gonna be alright!”

As we celebrate International Reggae Day, we celebrate all Rastafari’s, Reggae Music Genre and the Rastafari culture which has his teaching of love and unity.

Current track