Steemit Engagement Challenge Week 2 || Share your Country's Culture

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Hello friends, greetings to you all, it's a pleasure being here today to share with you all, on my favorite festival, which is The Afikpo traditional new yam festival, it is well explain in a very simple way for everyone comprehension.

Tell us about your about your favorite festival.

There are various festival that is been celebrated about various tribes in my country, the Igbos have their own festival, Huasa and Yoruba also have their own.

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My favorite festival is the traditional Afikpo new yam festival that is normally held every year here in Ebonyi State. Traditional Afikpo New Yam festival
(Ikeji) It is an annual festival that is normally held every year.

To mark the end of the traditional calendar year, also as a means of thanking given, to the gods for a productive harvest, and for purification and cleaning of the land, it's my favorite festival.

Because am very much familiar with the way the festival is been celebrated, i have witness a lot so i know a lot an i have much to say about it also to be more original , so cheers as we proceed on.

Write about it origin/ history

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Traditional Afikpo New Yam festival is also known as Ikeji, is an ancient celebration that has been on existence long before i was born, about 18 century ago, the festival is celebrated among the Afikpo people, it's an important festival that is usually celebrated to mark the traditional calendar year, good farm harvest, honor of the dead and cleaning of the land from evil spirit.

Afikpo is made up of two local government area, Afikpo North and Afikpo south, with various communities and villages the Afikpo people are the Igbos speaking tribes, that occupy the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Located in Ebonyi State, the New Yam festival is a special festival where people from far and wide come together to celebrate, the new yam festival has it origin from those days peasant farmers as i was told that a group of farmers made a huge harvest, and took some tuber of yam, and other farm crop palm wine to give thanks giving to their gods for a better harvest, that was how the traditional Afikpo New yam festival started, thanking their gods for a better harvest, because back then farming, was the major occupation of the people, so the yam festival is still in existence.

How you celebrate it?

How i celebrated the traditional Afikpo New yam festival.I usually visit my village Edda in Afikpo North local government just to celebrate the new yam festival, the festival normally last for three days (3 ) before the main day of the festival.

My village chiefs, and elders in counsel, traditional rulers, will attend meetings for the preparation of the main day celebration an the name of the meeting is called Ngidi-Ngidi is the name of the conference meeting, between chiefs, communities head, in Edda a villages in Afikpo.

I could remembered the last Ngidi-Ngidi that my father attended, at the town hall meeting center that is located along community secondary school the both local government chairman attended, i did not attend because i am still a youth not an elder. Ngidi-Ngidi is just a meeting of an elders, Afikpo traditional head, chiefs etc in preparation for the traditional new yam festival. This preparation day is the first day of the festival.

On the Eve of the festival which is day 2 after the preparation day, that is Ngidi-Ngidi The Eve of the festival is called Ichu-Aho during the Eve of the festival, all the villagers will gather in the village market square for cleaning also for honor of the dead ones, the Cleaning is for purification.

Thehen, at night the youth will be dancing holding flammable material, it's signify cleaning of the land, from evil spirit, and honoring of the dead, i could remember the last Ichu-Aho that i attended, it's was so fascinating i did not participate in the dancing competition, i only enjoyed myself by watching how the Ichu-Aho celebration was going.

On the main day of the new yam festival which is called Ikaji usually take place around August or September people from far and wide come to witness the festival ceremony.

It's used to be fun, i will also explain some of the activities during the main day of the festival celebration which are as follows, best farmers of the year, strongest wrestler of the year, best dancers of the year and the most beautiful girls and handsome boys contest competition.

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Now let me tell you people how the last traditional New Yam festival was celebrated in my community. Edda in Afikpo. The villagers gather in the village square in the morning, i remembered the time it was 8am in the morning, most dignitaries were in attendance even the governor, first lady of the state, i even saw some ministers and senators the celebration was great.

Dancing competition

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So now let me tell you how the various activities were carryout in the village market square. As the village gathered in the market square the dancing competition, took place there were a lot of traditional dancing like tv dance,

Afikpo old women dance etc, the person that won the title of the best dancers of the year was Ifeoma Emeka*, from Edda village. she won a sewing machine and cash prize of 50000naira (200steem) as
Wrestling tournament men from various communit

Best farmers
best farmers of the year competition here farmers, in the community will come with their various harvest to the market square and the person with the high harvest will win a prize, the person that won the best yam farmers of the year was Obina Ezi.

His tuber of yam were very big, farmers come with various food crop such as yams, cassava, maize, plaintain banana, fruits such as orange, cucumbers, garden eggs a lot of fruits and a lot of farm product where displayed mr Obina Ezi won the best farmer of the year, in the last contest, he won a new motorcycle with a cash prize of 100000naira (400steem).

Wrestling Contest
There use to be a wrestling competition during the new yam festival among able men here is how the wrestling contest is being carry-out, all the wrestlers will eat roasted yam, which they believe it's give strength.

And the drummers will be beating their drum, women and children will be singing, clapping, for the village wrestlers, the place use to be very noisy, because of the crowd the strongest wrestler goes home with a prize.

It was Mr Nkanu Jacob that won the last wrestling contest. he won a new generator with a cash prize of150000naira ( 6000steem).

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Also during the festival period other gifts and items were been shared such as food stuff, clothes etc, i almost forgot the first lady of Ebonyi State Mrs Rachel Umahi David shared wrappers to women with bag of salt.

then after all the activities at the market square people started singing, celebrating, eating, drinking, visiting friends and family's members at different locations sharing gifts, to one another, the New Yam festival is a very big celebration just like other festival, the difference is that it's been celebrated within Afikpo geographical communities.

the traditional new yam festival, dish is pounded yam, Egusi soup and Edikang ikong soup, palm wine mainly traditional African dish, palm wine used to be enough for people to enjoy.

Is it celebrated like few generations ago or newer generations lack awareness and are insensitive to their own culture?

Traditional Afikpo New Yam festival has changed a lot because of the impact of Christianity and civilization most of the old culture has actually fade away, the traditional festival is now being celebrated in a civilized an in modern way, not like the past generation.

Now celebrities use to attend even foreigners used to attend, after the celebration, at night they use to host night show, the last festival top celebrities attended such as Wizkid, Davido etc.

I was so surprised that things has changed a lot so it's been celebrated in a modern and civilized way not like those old generation, I remembered when i was a child my dad use to take me to the festival, then it was celebrated in a very primitive and local way.

As i said Christianity has changed a lot of African culture, people don't worship gods of the sun again or gods of the moon and river again, in those days during the festival period people made sacrifices to their various gods.

But now things have really change, churches everywhere in my community, state and country despite the impact of Christianity and civilization traditional Afikpo New Yam festival is still very effective, this year festival will take place around August or September so am inviting all my steemit friends to be in intendance.

Conclusion:

I want to thank @steemit-pak for organizing this wonderful contest, because it gives me the pleasure to discuss my traditional festival to you all, especially to my foreign steemit friends that are not in Africa or Nigeria to be precise, also thank you all for viewing my post i sincerely appreciate.

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We celebrate a similar festival here in Ghana, this festival has been beautiful portrayed by you and it's even compelling me to come experiencing it one day. Nigeria is a place I love and would love to visit one day,

Thanks bro you know African have similar culture, thank for your comments on my post, i sincerely appreciate

Yam festival is also a festival celebrated here in Ghana by the Asogli people in the Volta region of the country. It quite the same as yours but there is some slight difference. Thanks for your participation and best of luck.

Thank you so much for commenting on my post, you know Africa culture have similarities

Hello friend you have actually stated how Afikpo New Yam Festival is being Celebrated. I could remember in 2014 to 2019 when I was staying at Afikpo, I do see how the new yam festival is being Celebrated.

Do the people of Afikpo still do they Ogu festival that usually takes place around September.?

Thanks for sharing.

Thank you so much for supporting this post, i sincerely appreciate

Nigeria indeed has a lot of interesting culture which we should be proud of.

You made a detailed explanation of most of them.
Thank you.

Thank you my good friend, as you know culture is part of Nigeria heritage, thanks for your comments

I feel like not stopping reading your post, you did exceptionally well by explaining Afikpo new yam festival to my own understanding, i like the way you applied creativity in your work, although i have not been to Ebonyi State before to witness this amazing festival of your people, but this time I will do my best not to miss out in this unique cultural heritage of Afikpo people of Nigeria

Thank you so much my friend for supporting this post i sincerely appreciate

You made me understand everything about Afikpo culture in Nigeria, sl there is wrestling contest wow very interesting and the wrestler would have to eat roasted yam before the contest, your post is okay my friend

Thank you so much my good friend

Very beautiful culture of your country my friend. Our traditions are part of our cultural roots. Very good post

Thank you so much my friend

 2 years ago 

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