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New Yam Festival: Anambra To Showcase Best Of Masquerade, Local Delicacies…Commissioner

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Mr Don Onyenji, Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism in Anambra says the state will hold the largest and most colourful new yam (Iri Ji) festival on oct.21.

Onyenji, who spoke to the newsmen in Awka on Thursday, said the festival would hold at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka with Igwe Alfred Achebe, Obi of Onitsha and Chairman of Anambra Traditional Rulers Council as the Father of the Day.

He said the Iri Ji festival was symbolic as it made the celebration of harvest season and the place of yam as the king of all crops in Igbo land

The commissioner said Anambra had a rich cultural heritage including the intangible ones like ceremonies such as the new yam festival which is the most popular, normally held between August and November every year.

He said Anambra was peaceful and safe and everyone was invited.

According to him, in line with Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s agenda for reviving and promoting the Igbo cultural heritage, I want to inform you that the Anambra Iri Ji festival will come up on Oct. 21.

“As a State, Anambra is selling the festival to the world as one major cultural event, so the 2023 Iri Ji festival will be one with a difference.

“All the traditional rulers in Anambra, Town Union leadership will be there and the 21 Local Government Area Councils will be on parade.

“The festival is all about love and sharing, we invite all Anambra people and non Anambra citizens to come and witness the cutting of yam and the celebration associated with it,” he said.

Onyenji said the governor who would be the chief host would recognise the person with bigger yam harvested with the king of yam ‘Eze Ji’ award.

The Commissioner said there would be traditional wrestling, masquerade displays and Local Government dance parades.

Onyenji said though new yam festival was for everyone, respect must be accorded to seniority and some of the abuse seen in some communities and kindreds should cease.

“We shall have masquerade shows, best of local cuisine and palm wine, shall not entertain foreign delicacies, it will be local food all the way

“There is a protocol for Iri Ji in Igbo land, nobody should perform the rite before the government recognised traditional rulers in that community; kindreds should also allow their most senior to do it before others,” he said. (NAN)

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=91584

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