Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Igue Festival of Benin Kingdom Nigeria

Ugie Ewere: The Igue festival is concluded with the Ugie Ewere ceremonies. This is normally done in the early hours of the morning by presenting the Ebe'ewere leaves to the Oba. These leaves symbolize joy and prosperity. Bini history has it that this ceremony was incorporated into the Igue festival by Oba Ewuare, to re-enact his fruitful and blissful marriage to Ewere, the daughter of Ogie'Ekae. The procession to the palace is normally a flamboyant and colourful event which involves the chiefs dancing to the palace along with their followers. The Ewere leaves serves as New Year gift to all Edo people.
The Igue festival as celebrated in Benin is mainly held to offer thanks for a year just past and to ask for blessing for the incoming year. The Isologbe (happy New Year) greeting rings around the city after the conclusion of Igue.
The Igue festival is also an opportunity for the Bini people to display their rich culture and tradition to all those who have come to witness the colourful festival. This period sees an increase in agricultural, cultural, economic activities as people engage in buying and selling in preparation for the epic event. The festival also helps to cultivate a warm relationship between the people and foreigners, little wonder Benin City is recognized as one of the most welcoming cities to foreigners in Nigeria.
If you happen to be in Benin City during the first half of the month of December, endeavour to visit Kings Square or the palace of the Oba to catch a glimpse of the rich culture and tradition of the Bini people.
The festival has continued to draw sponsorship from the corporate world as well as drawing record crowds year on year.

*Culled from www.infoguidenigeria.com

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