New Yam Festival (Ike Ji In Unwana Dialect) Ebonyi State




New Yam Festival (Ike Ji In Unwana Dialect)

Is an annual festival by the Unwana people held at the end of August. The Ike Ji festival (literally "new-yam eating") symbolizes the beginning of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle. The celebration is a very culturally based occasion, tying the community together as essentially agrarian and dependent on yam.

Yams are the first crop to be harvested, and are the most important crop. Yam which is regarded as the king of our farming seedlings, is symbolic to this celebration as newly harvested Yam is cooked and it's the food of the day. Families prepare this food waiting for friends and relatives to visit so that they can eat and dine together in celebration of a successful farming season.

Nobody is allowed to harvest his/her farm produce (especially Yam) before the festival until after the celebration. The day is symbolic of enjoyment after the cultivation season, and the plenty is shared with friends and well-wishers.