A festival is a traditional event marked yearly with prayers and supplication to God in a community.
Generally, we have different types of festival – Christmas, Egungun festival, New Yam festival, Igwe festival in Benin, Ogun among the Yorubas, Orisa-Oko, sango festival among others.
The new yam festival is the one happily celebrated in my town. It comes up in the month of September every year when new yams are harvested. It marks the beginning of the consumption of new yams. It is a yearly event that brings people from various walks of life together to celebrate the coming of new yams and thank the Almighty God for good harvest and preservation of life.
Before the d-day, people from far and near, farmers come home to clean round the town. Is a period when plenty food stuffs are brought home and new dresses are sown. Again, those who can afford it paint their houses to give it a face-lift. Is a period of happiness for all sons and daughters in the community.
The day of festival is usually marked with lots of killing of goats, rams, hens and cocks. Is also a period of mass movements of people from places to places to visit friends and relations and worship the God of Heaven and the earth who provides rain and sun.
It is a day of merriment with lots of food to eat, drink and dance away our sorrow. You will hear noises all over the town coupled with giving and receiving gifts from neighbours and well wishers. In addition, vehicles and bike riders popularly known as (Okada riders) take an advantage of mass movements to make much money. People would eat and drink to stupor. In most cases, people are advised to keep off the streets to avoid being knocked down by drunken drivers and motor cycle riders.
The climax of the festival is the visiting of the King of the community who usually pray for peace, happiness and bountiful harvest in the community.
The festival comes to an end with peace, prayer and pageantry as people retire to their various places of work.
The importance of the new yam festival cannot be overemphasized 1. The new yam festival is a period of fostering unity among the various groups of the community, irrespective of religious, social and political differences, as they all come together for the promotion of peace and happiness in the community.
- The new yam festival is also a period of merriment where enough food are eaten and shared among neighbours.
- Is a period when taxi drivers, okada riders and food stuffs sellers make huge sales and profits.
- Above all, the new yam festival is a period of thanksgiving to God the creator of all things as well as promotion of our rich culture and tradition.
In conclusion, the new yam festival is a remarkable event celebrated yearly, which brings people of all walks of life together and promotes the social gaiety of the town.