African Culture

Everything you need to know about the iri ji ohu Festival of the igbo tribe

The Igbo people celebrate their New Yam Festival every year in early August, towards the conclusion of the rainy season (Orureshi in the Idoma region, Iwa ji, Iri ji, or Ike ji, depending on dialect).

 

The Iri ji festival, which literally means “eating new yams,” is celebrated throughout West Africa (particularly in Nigeria and Ghana) as well as other African nations and abroad to mark the end of one work cycle and the start of the next. The event, which is heavily rooted in culture and unites several Igbo communities as being mostly agrarian and reliant on yam, the king of crops.

Yams are one of the first crops to be sown at the start of the growing season. Early crops like maize, cocoyams, and pumpkins are gathered and eaten quietly between April and August. The New Yam Festival is a celebration that highlights the importance of yam in the Igbo people’s social and cultural life. On the eve of the New Yam Festival, all old yams (from the crop from the previous year) must be eaten or thrown away in some Igbo communities. As the event is a representation of the richness of the produce, only yam dishes are offered at the feast the following day.

Yams are one of the first crops to be sown at the start of the growing season. Early crops like maize, cocoyams, and pumpkins are gathered and eaten quietly between April and August. The New Yam Festival is a celebration that highlights the importance of yam in the Igbo people’s social and cultural life. On the eve of the New Yam Festival, all old yams (from the crop from the previous year) must be eaten or thrown away in some Igbo communities. As the event is a representation of the richness of the produce, only yam dishes are offered at the feast the following day.

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Either the king or another prominent title holder, or the oldest man in the village, performs the ritual. By thanking the supreme deity for his benevolence and protection in guiding them from a time of scarcity to a time of abundant harvest without deaths from hunger, this guy also gifts the yams to god, deities, and ancestors. They offer a prayer of thanks to their god before eating the first yam because they believe that their status grants them the right to act as a bridge betweenDue to the impact of Christianity in the region, many people still observe the rites, which are designed to convey the community’s appreciation to the gods for enabling the harvest. The three facets of the Igbo worldview—pragmatic, religious, and appreciative—are thus explained by this.


 

The day is a celebration of leisure following the growing season, and the plenty is shared with friends and well-wishers. The consumption of new yam is celebrated in many different ways. Folk dances, masquerades, parades, and parties combine to produce an event that some attendees refer to as “art.” The vibrant festival is a display of expressed gratitude, joy, and communal display. their communities and the local deities.

Typically, the yam used for the festival’s major rite is roasted and served with palm oil (mman nri). Iwa ji and the Asian Mid-Autumn Festival are both primarily local harvest holidays that are centered on the lunar cycle. As such, they have some parallels.

 

 

This occasion is significant to Igbo people all across the world.

 

 

The New Yam festival, which honors the gods of the land after the yam harvest, is the pinnacle of the people’s celebration of their religious belief in the ultimate deity. The big “Iri Ji Ohu” event is prepared for when the new moon appears in August, but the timing and method vary from community to community.

The New Yam festival is a very alluring art occasion. The vibrant celebration is an annual show for community members, marking the conclusion of the cultivation season. It is a festival when the people express their gratitude to those who helped them gather a rich harvest, known as the “king of all crops.”

 

 

A tradition of the “Igbos” that dates back thousands of years and has survived to the present day is the cultivation and preservation of yams.

The New Yam festival is a very alluring art occasion. The vibrant celebration is an annual show for community members, marking the conclusion of the cultivation season. It is a festival when the people express their gratitude to those who helped them gather a rich harvest, known as the “king of all crops.”

 

 

A tradition of the “Igbos” that dates back thousands of years and has survived to the present day is the cultivation and preservation of yams.

The festival is first organized at the local level. Then, whether or not they have money to celebrate with the others, people celebrate in their own style and capacity with family and friends to begin the eating of new yam in these homes that took part in the communal event.

 

 

The wives and kids can begin eating new yam in the majority of Igbo families without the men or family leaders joining them since the males consider it to be an abomination to do so without honoring the ancestors.

 

 


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Francis Chidera
the authorFrancis Chidera
Popularly known as Chokolate is a content creator. A lover of simplified words making it easy to get to a wider audience. It pains to see that Africans are forgetting and neglecting who they are, hence, I am passionate about reminding us of our culture. I work with 54history on the African culture category, to achieve this aim.

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