Today, Rastafarians mark the birthday of Haile Selassie I, former Emperor of Ethiopia, who is regarded as God.
Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He also served as Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity .
The Rastafari movement (name taken from Haile Selassie’s pre-imperial name Ras—meaning Head, a title equivalent to Duke—Tafari Makonnen) is an Africa-centred religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s.
Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie will return to lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom.
They are also known as Rastas, Sufferers, Locksmen, Dreads or Dreadlocks (they are forbidden to cut their hair, so they grow it and twist it into dreadlocks)