Just the facts on religion.

Rastafarian Practices

The two main Rastafari rituals are reasonings (an informal gathering involving cannabis and discussion) and nyabingi (a festive dance). Most Rastafarians are vegatarians or vegans, and the most observant Rastas follow a dietary law called ital, which is based on natural vegetarian food. Many Rastafarians wear their hair in dreadlocks, a pratice with rich symbolism.

  • Cannabis (Marijuana) in Rastafarianism

    Rastafarians are well known for their religious use of marijuana, which grows plentifully in Jamaica. Rastas call the cannabis plant ganja, the holy herb, Iley or callie, and believe it was given by God... full article →
  • Dreadlocks in Rastafarianism

    One of the most visible practices of Rastafarians is the wearing of one's hair in dreadlocks. Dreadlocks have several purposes and layers of meaning for Rastafarians, including: - the biblical command not to cut one's hair (Leviticus 21:5) - the appearance of a lion's mane, representing strength, Africa, Ethiopia, and the Lion of Judah - naturalness and simplicity, which are associated with Africa - the Rasta's roots in Africa full article →
  • Ital

    The most observant Rastas follow a dietary law called ital, the name of which is derived from the word "vital." Ital food is food which is completely natural (not canned and free of chemicals and preservatives) and eaten as raw as possible... full article →
  • Nyabinghi

    The nyabinghi, or binghi for short, is a nighttime drumming and dance ritual held on Rasta holidays and special occasions. Nyabinghis can last for several days and bring together hundreds of Rastafarians from all over Jamaica... full article →
  • Reasoning

    In Rastafarianism, the reasoning is an informal gathering at which a small group of Rastas smoke ganja and engage in discussion. The reasoning ritual begins when one person lights the ganja pipe, or "chalice," and recites a short prayer while all other participants bow their heads... full article →

Further Reading

  • McAlister, Elizabeth A.. “Rastafari.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 17 Dec. 2004. Web. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.