Thursday, 8 June 2017

Top 10 Exciting Festivals In Edo State (Part 2)

6. Ukpe Festival (Esan/Ishan Clan)
As the name implies Ukpe (year) is celebrated in June by all the villages comprising Ewohiwi to mark the end of one year and the beginning of another. Homage is paid to ancestors to express gratitude to them for protecting the people throughout the year.

The festival is for a four day duration and held separately by the various village-firstly by Idumuagbor and lastly by Ikeken. The celebration features entertainment, service at the ancestral shrines, exchange of gift and traditional dancing.
The festival ends on a market day when everybody appears gorgeously and dances to the market- place in Ewohimi.

7. Ighele Festival (Esan/Ishan Clan)

Ighele festival is one of the most important festivals in Ishanland . It is celebrated annually in Ewu in the month of June and is significant to the inhabitant of Ewu because of the belief that Ighele brings peace and prosperity. Beside this idea, the festival appeases the ancestors of Ewa.

About a week to the festival the area which encloses the shrine is cleared and well decorated in the traditional norm of Ighele. The festival begins with gorgeous dressing. Young girls and adults appear in their best. The wearing of gold trinkets is commonplace and those who can afford coral beads also put them on, this young girl in company of the adult women dance round the town.

8. Oto Uromi Festival (Esan/Ishan Clan)

As the name implies, Oto-Uromi (Uromi land) is celebrated for a day in July or early August to appease the land of Uromi so as to produce good harvest. It is always held on an Uromi market day, always fived by the Onojie of Uromi acting on the advice of the elders and chiefs. An interval of 15 days is always given between the announcement and the date of celebration to allow for preparation.

It is a customary law that nobody goes to the farm on the day of celebration. Although the entire people of Uromi are involved in it, people from Umuwazi village called Egbele-Iwienbolo and Ikekiala, play a great role.

The ceremony is performed by Iwienbola people on a chosen spot where four sticks of chalk, four kola-nuts, some cowries, ripe pumpkin and a dog are used in appeasing the soil.

9. Ivbamen Or Ororuen Festival Of Ozalla (Owans/Oras clan)

Like other festival celebrated in various parts of Edo state. Ivbamen is celebrated annually for a week in April or May by Ozalla clan in Owan to initiate young men between 28 and 30 years of age into manhood. It also marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. The festival is as old as Ozalla clan itself.

Each celebrant participates in it for three consecutive times so that by the time a man of 28 reaches 30, he must have completed the full turn. No young man is allowed to participate in the festival less than twice and if any celebrant dies after performing the ceremony only once, for instance, it is regarded as bad luck for the person.

The date of ceremony is announced five market days earlier by the clan head with the co-operation of the chief priest of river Orhuen. The celebrants then start physical training to enable them run the eight-mile distance from the town to river Orhuen. They also make public announcements about their intention to participate in the festival and promise to bring to the elders information about any obstruction that comes their way.

10. Oriminyan Festival of Oguta- Evbiame (Owans/Oras clan)

Oriminyan is celebrated at Ogute-Evbiame in Emai Clan for three months (January- March), and in some parts of Ora and Iuleha. Although the festival is celebrated annually, a new age group is initiated every fourth year. It is celebrated to ensure peace and plenty in the town. The main features are masquerade dance in the evening at the centre of the town and merriment every five days and young men participate in the events. The masquerades wear marks and image and people regard them as heavenly spirits and not man-made.

The uninitiated is not allowed to come out at night on the first day of the festival when the masquerades parade the town and make awful sound. Women are also forbidden from seeing the enclave where the masquerades are clothed. Dances are held every five days- the market day during the three- month period. When an age group of 25 to 30 years is admitted into the village society as reaching maturity the women of that age group join the men in public festivities. It is usually an expensive undertaking.

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