Mbaise Top Seed Club

Cultural Events in Mbaise

Mbaise comes alive with color, music, and joyous celebrations throughout the year. Here’s a glimpse into some of the prominent festivals and cultural events that showcase the rich Igbo heritage of the region:

Major Festivals:

Iri Ji Mbaise (August 15th): The crown jewel of Mbaise celebrations, the Iri Ji (New Yam) Festival, marks the beginning of the yam harvest season. A grand occasion filled with Thanksgiving ceremonies, parades, traditional dances like Nkwa Igbo (Igbo dance), and a general atmosphere of revelry. Each year, a different Mbaise Local Government Area (LGA) takes on the hosting responsibilities. The Iri Ji festival has become a global event for Igbos around the world.

Oji Ezinihitte (January 1st): This festival, specific to the Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, centers around the kola nut (Oji). It signifies a time for reflection, community gatherings, and celebrating achievements from the previous year. Festivities might include the offering of prayers, cultural performances, and the sharing of kola nuts.

Other Cultural Events:

Iwa Akwa (Ahiazu Mbaise): This coming-of-age ceremony, primarily practiced in the Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, marks the initiation of young men into adulthood. It involves a series of physical and mental challenges, culminating in a grand celebration with traditional dances and music.

Itu Aka Festival: This festival involves the preparation of the people for the farming season. The traditional authority, which includes the Ezes and titled men, gathers to pray, direct, and dedicate the land before the farming season commences.

Mbaise Masquerade Carnival: This colorful event, unlike others hosted by communities, is the brainchild of the foremost Mbaise Top Seed Club. It started in 2017 by bringing modern masquerades together and later included a women’s folklore dance competition. The event is held annually during the Christmas season.

Beyond the Festivals:

Erigwara: This is a historic Yule tide activity that commences from December 25th to January 2nd, depending on when the market days fall within the Christmas season. People visit their families and friends on their market days to socialize, eat, and drink. Even strangers can visit and celebrate with communities hosting on their day. Towards the evening, people proceed to the market square in the community to watch masquerade performances. This is one of the most memorable events, especially for children who grew up in Mbaise Land.

Traditional Ceremonies: Witnessing traditional marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies and even funerals can offer valuable insights into Mbaise customs and community structures.  However, it’s important to be respectful and seek permission before observing such events.

Village Meetings: Attending village meetings (depending on permission and cultural appropriateness) can provide a window into local decision-making processes and community dynamics.

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