Ras means prince, so Ras-Tafari becomes Prince Tafari, who became the Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie I) in 1930. He is considered to be a divine being who will eventually lead all black people to freedom. He is seen as the new messiah and (linked to the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth but not Christian) would lead the black African people to freedom.
Rastafarians try to follow the Nazarite Vow of Separation, which forbids the cutting of hair, prohibits certain foods and requires shunning of the dead in order to emphasise life.
Worldwide followers (Estimated): Over 1 million worldwide.
1) The Lion of Judah emblem.
2) Members have a distinctive hairstyle - dreadlocks (locks) are a symbol of faith and a source of black pride.
3) Orthodox members may not permit their hair to be cut.
1) Most do not eat meat.
2) Pork is forbidden.
3) Fresh natural food is preferred.
4) Many are vegetarian.
1) Ethiopian New Year's Day: Recognised because Rastafarians believe Ethiopia to be their spiritual homeland, and a place to which they want to return.
2) Ethiopian Christmas: Christianity has existed in Ethiopia since 330 AD, Rastafarians regard blacks as the Jews of the Bible.
Anniversary of Haile Selassie visit to Jamaica.