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An Article for Publication Describing One of the Tradional Festivals in My State

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An Article for Publication Describing One of the Tradional Festivals in My State by : 11:39 am On May 8, 2018

During the last  holidays, you had the opportunity to another state and to witness some of the traditional festivals in the area. In an article suitable for publication in your school magazine describe one of these festivals.


NEW YAM FESTIVAL IN EDAEKITI

During the last holiday, I had the golden opportunity to travel to Eda Ekiti to Eda Ekiti to spend my holiday with an uncle. The holiday perhaps was the most enjoyable in recent years. It was a two-week holiday early in July. The period of the holiday coincided with the new yam festival in the village. My uncle Mr. J.O. Didemola is a teacher in the village secondary school. The village itself has about two hundred houses and over ten thousand people. It is located in the newly-created Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Indeed, the new yam festival, otherwise called Ogun Festival celebrated on 12th July will forever remain green in my memory. It was my first time of spending my holiday outside Lagos and I have vowed not to spend any in Lagos city again, as people lose much touch with traditional values and beauty by not visiting the countryside.

The new yam festival at Eda Editi is an annual event celebrated in honour of Ogun the Yoruba god of iron and war. The people are deeply traditional in that nobody is allowed to eat the new yam or bring it home until the festival is over. Although the people of the locality are all Christians of various denominations, the Ogun festival unites them all. Their sons and daughters in their thousands travel home from far and near to share in the goodwill of the festival. I was but a visitor to the area but I felt like a true ‘son of the soil’ during the period as the said, ‘there is no stranger in the house of Ogun.

On the even of the festival, I was fortunate to have followed my new friend, Babayo to his father’s farm. He too came for the festival from Lagos. On getting to the farm, some big tubers of yam were harvested and the wives and children who were in the happiest mood washed the tubers, singing some traditional songs. My friend later told me that they were singing in honour of Ogun for the bountiful harvest brought and  that  the period of scarcity was gone. The staple food of the people is ‘Iyan’ (pounded yam) with ‘egusi’ (melon) soup. Before we left the farm, my friend’s father divined through for slices of kolanut at the end of which he warned his household not to fight during the period of the festival. He warned seriously that Ogun ordered him to warn all of us present to avoid fighting. We ate some pounded yam before we left the farm for home. People in that part eat much; what a single person ate is enough for a family of six in Lagos. No wonder they are strong and muscular. I was given five large tubers as a gift. They were so large that I hardly could carry them home.

At about nine in the night,  the celebration proper began. It was time for singing abusive songs on those who have done bad. Usually, they start with the king and the high-ranking chiefs. The king was said not to have done much when there was drought early in the year. They believe the king is the mediator between them and their ancestors. After this series, abusive songs were directed at  those  who had committed offences such as abortions, stealing, adultery and so on. The most surprising aspect of it was t hat the ‘culprits’ gave the singer (young men and women) a lot of gifts such as plamwine, kolanut et cetera. It was so fantastic that people danced to tunes, including those against them. This they did till dawn. Singers there were highly talented though they sang in their local dialect but I got the message.

In the morning, it was eating galore. It was that area I noticed that people eat pounded yam as breakfast, lunch and dinner continuously for days with joy. At about ten in the morning, all were gathered at the market square with the king presiding. A male dog was sacrificed to Ogun. The neck of the dog was cut at once by a priest of Ogun and the blood sprinkled on the metallic objects. At the end, the king and his chiefs danced round they village. It was the most memorable of all holidays I have ever spent. Like others in the village, I too paid the ritual and customary homage to the king.

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