Alo Mmo (New Yam Festival)

Alo Mmo (New Yam Festival)

The most significant festival in Anambra State is the annual New yam festival. It takes an important pride in the lives of the people. Its a time between planting and harvest. It's a time that the community offers thanks giving to their gods and ancestors for guiding and protecting them all through the farming season.

The feast comes immediately after a three months (in lunar calendar) restive period during which there were no much work on farms. And it’s closely followed by the harvest season during which Yam tubers are cultivated. Since Yam is regarded as the king of all crops, the Community sees it as a mark of respects to reciprocate the kindness of the gods & ancestors.

Alo Mmo (New Yam Festival)

The feast goes with a lot of preparations, and every family, household by household is expected to present their new yam, a form of offering for the gods of the land. It goes with merriments, dancing, display of different masquerades, events, and so much more.

After the prayer of thanksgiving to God, the elders will eat the first yam. Only after then will the rest of the community feel free to consume the new yam without incurring the wrath of the gods.

It is believed that their position bestows the privilege of being intermediaries between their communities and the gods of the land. The rituals are meant to express the gratitude of the community to the gods for making the harvest possible.The yam is then eaten with 'mmanụ nri' i.e red oil.

Alo Mmo (New Yam Festival)In some communities, it is a taboo for any indigene of the community to eat new yam before the traditional “Iwa ji or Iri Ji” ceremony is performed.

The harvest of yam and the celebration of the God of the land through the New Yam festival is an epitome of the people’s religious belief in the supreme deity. It is a remarkable event in Igbo tradition.
Other important festivals include:
the Egwu Imo Awka festival in Awka
the Nwafor festival in Ogidi
the Onwa Asato festival in Nri
the Omaliko festival in Abatete
the Uzo-Iyi festival Umuoji
the Udo festival in Igbo-Ukwu
the Ezi-okpaligwe festival in Amawbia
the Orima festival in Amorka.
Aghalieaku Cultural Festival, Ozubulu.



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