Festivals in Nigeria are always known to be glamorous, interesting and flamboyant. There are so many of them starting from the Argungun Fishing festival, to Osun Oshogbo Festival, to the Agila Social and Economic Carnival, Eyo festival, FESTAC 77, Gidi Culture Festival, Igue festival, Imo Carnival the list is endless. Today, I will be taking a look at the OJUDE OBA FESTIVAL in the ancient town of Ijebu Ode, in Ogun State.
If you are a party lover, or you love to have fun and also want a special sight seeing then, this is a Festival to look out for. The Ojude Oba festival is a grand, glamorous and colourful festival celebrated with extreme pomp and pageantry during the Eid El Kabir celebration, in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, South-West, Nigeria.
On the day of this festival, the town of Ijebu Ode is always busy and always experience massive traffic jam.
It is a notable fact that the people of IJebu-Ode are notorious for their insatiable love of parties (Kai, Ijebu and Parties!), it is a day of the year they anticipate as it offers them the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and have a once in a year meeting with family and friends. We at Eventnews Africa took time out to review this widely publicized festival and we came up with few things you need to know about this festival….We all at Eventnews Africa are so excited to share with you because it is also our own little way of promoting cultures and traditions in Nigeria.
1. Did you know that Ojude Oba started as a religious festival?
Well, now you know. Before the festival became a popular gig, it used to be a small gathering of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion. The story is not the same again…because as I type this now, the festival has transcended religious lines and attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria.
2. May I also have you know that the Festival Usually held on the third day of Eid
It comes up on the 3rd day of Ileya (Eid) On this day, Christians, Muslims, dignitaries, tourists and even visitors, troop to the Oba Sikiru Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre to witness and experience the glamour of the festival. It is a spectacle you shouldn’t miss if you find yourself in Ijebu-Ode.
3. Extravagant display of culture and heritage
The aim of the Ojude-Oba is to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the people of Ijebu-ode. This is showcased via resplendent traditional attires, deft hairstyles, cuisine (ifokore) and the reenactment of rare cultural dances which can only be watched at a festival of such magnitude.
4. Homage is paid to the paramount
The 100-year-old festival welcomes over 45,000 visitors amidst heavy, singing, dancing and drumming also pay homage to the paramount ruler of Ijebu-land, HRH Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba 11. Again the age-grades and the Oba’s subjects take turns to pay homage to the Awujale of Ijebu-land by presenting different foodstuffs and other items.
5. It features horse-riding, gunshots, and dance competitions
Here comes the most interesting aspect of it, Horse-riding (YAY!!!) among the various horse riding families and male/female dance groups are the two things you shouldn’t miss during the festival. The different horse riding families dress their horses and exhibit their horse-riding skill to the admiration of spectators. Meanwhile, for the dance competition, men and women belonging to different age-groups called regberegbe will display their dancing prowess. The best-dressed regberegbe and horse-riding family will be rewarded with cash prizes. During the celebrations, there are intermittent gunshots.
Having said all these, you should consider visiting Ijebu Ode for the next OJUDE OBA FESTIVAL.
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