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An Article for Publication Discribing A Prominent Festival in My Village

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An Article for Publication Discribing A Prominent Festival in My Village by : 10:28 pm On May 14, 2018

You have just taken part in a local festival in your village. Write an article for publication in a cultural magazine describing the festival, its origin and importance to your people, and the role you played.


NEW YAM FESTIVAL AT ABULE OJA  

The new yam festival, otherwise called “Ogun Festival” is to Abule Oja what Christmas is to Jerusalem. It comes up once a year. It is the greatest and most celebrated  traditional festival in Abule Oja. It is celebrated in honour of Ogun-the Yoruba ‘god of iron and war’. It is the only festival that brings together the people in the village both those at home and abroad as well as all those who belong to different religions – be they Christmas, Moslem or traditional worshipers all unite as one during ogun Festival at Abule Oja. The last one was celebrated from 10th to 12th August 1998. It was the most celebrated in recent years as new age grade of which I was an active member was formed during the festival.

I prayed a significant role in the just concluded Ogun Festival at Abule. On the even of the festival, all those to be initiated into a new age grade were assembled early in the morning at the of the festival as well as our roles. Each was told to make available by evening a calabash – full of bounded yam, a male dog, cock, kola nut, roasted yam and a goured of palm wine for sacrifice to Ogun. All these my parents had provided as they were full of enthusiasm that their first male child would enter into the age grade system of the village.

By evening, the population of the village has swollen by a large number because of visitors and indigenes from far and near. It was a re-union of all members of many families. In our family alone, I could count over ten members who arrived because of the ceremony. They bought a lot of things for my parents and my self who was  they cynosure of all eyes in the family. For the first time they bought for me a wrist watch and expensive closthes which perhaps, would have remained a wishful thinking if not for the festival. Before dusk, new yams began to emerge from various farms into the village. The village wore a festive look in readiness for the festival. Not quite long, the town crier indicated through a gong that all Ogun-age grade candidate for the year should fall in and I quickly carried my own materials including a male dog to the Chief Priest’s house. I was perhaps, the last to get there as all was set.

As I got there, the Chief Priest was briefing them to avoid fighting and rancor as Ogn had warned against such. Then a skilled Ogun priest, after the necessary sacrifice was made, cut into two the dog I bought. The whole thing is still a mystery to me how he did it. The legs were held by a young man and the head by another person. Before I knew what was to happen, the skillful priest came from the shrine as if he was to give an instruction, then cut the dog into two by the neck. I never witnessed as occasion like that before. In no time, the new age graders were led in dancing and singing in praise of Ogun. The dancing was both collective and individual. I have never danced like  that before. After  that, we ate all the food brought and  the dog was prepared for eating. I never tasted it before but I had no alternative but to eat with them. I also took some large quantity to my father as a chief.

Around ten in the evening, the new age graders were to lead the whole village in dancing and singing against those who has done abominable acts like s telling, fighting, adultery and so on. The rule was when they sang against you, you had to provide kolanut, salt and palmwine for the new age grade. I led this group for some hours before I was exhausted. By dawn, the king dressed in his traditional regalla and his crown, followed us with other chiefs to dance round  the Ogun shrine seven times, each  time with a special song. In the afternoon, all visitors who came for blessings were prayed for but with a promise of what to bring for Ogun the following new age grade year. I could see those who brought cows, rams, and cocks in multiples. I learnt that Ogun had answered their prayer. It was wonderful. It was fantastic as if the day should never end.

By noon, it was to be rounded off and each of us in the new age  grade had  to dance with fresh palm leaves round or waists. I managed to dance well as I was exhausted to the extreme. I got many presents from my parents and well wishers. In fact, I would have prayed that another one should come soon but it only happens once in one’s life time. It was colourful as television crews from both private and public media covered the ceremony. I was the center of attraction as I was the one interviewed as the only one among the actors who could speak English fluently. It was recommended by the media men that covered the festival that such should be integrated into the nation’s tourism.

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