Definition - What does Rastafari mean?
Rastafaris are individuals who follow the practice of Rastafarianism. Rastafaris follow a Judeo-Christian based god and adhere to the Old Testament, among other scriptures.
Rastafaris are best known for their practices of smoking marijuana and the growing of dreadlocks, both of which they cite biblical reasons for.
Hydrolife explains Rastafari
There are well over one million adherents of Rastafarianism worldwide (some estimates claim up to four million), but the overwhelming majority are located in Jamaica, where the belief system started in the late 1920s and was firmly cemented in the minds of its adherents with the 1930 rise to power of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie I is revered as the messiah and was previously known by his title (Ras) and name (Tafari) as Ras Tafari Makonnen.
Rastafarianism is as much a religion as it is a way of life. Without any centralized “church”, its practitioners are split into different sects. Each sect practices Rastafarianism with many similar characteristics.
For example, Rastafaris are generally all vegetarian or vegan, and believe that the bible forbids the cutting of one’s hair, hence the dreadlocks. They also practice a temperance to alcohol and other man-made substances. They incorporate marijuana smoking into both their religious practices and for medicinal purposes.