3 Nigerian Cultural Festivals You Never Knew About

Culture! It’s the totality of a people’s way of life! Africa is endowed with culture, and Nigeria isn’t left out of the rich cultural heritage that abounds in the continent.
A trip around the 36 states of Nigeria will open one’s eyes to numerous Nigerian cultural festivals that brings all and sundry together.
In this post, we’ll take a look at three amazing cultural festivals from Anambra state in south-east Nigeria. Anambra state happens to be one of the smallest states in Nigeria in terms of landmass. Light of the Nation as its called is home to about 4 million people who are referred to as Anambrarians. The state has about 21 local government areas.
Three Nigerian cultural festivals we’re looking at today are
  • Imo-Awka Festival, in Awka.
  • Ofala Festival in Aguleri.
  • Uzo Iyi Festival in Umuoji.
  1. Imoka Festival. This is an annual festival that is held between April and July as directed by the Imo-Awka Chief Priest, known in Awka as Eze I oka! I have witnessed this festival for many years having lived in Awka. Masquerades are one of the major attractions of the festival which attracts visitors from wide and near. The festival is often used to show off strength amongst the males. They’ll flog themselves till one gives up. It’s not uncommon to see the young boys carry the stick called “agba Imoka” whipping themselves. Strangers aren’t left out as they catch the fun alongside indigenes. One important thing to note however is that women aren’t allowed to wear trousers on two special days. I’ll elaborate more on this in my next post.
  2. Ofala Festival. The Ofala festival which isn’t peculiar to the people of Aguleri is witnessed by close to a million people every year. Aguleri is the cradle of the Igbo race. Many Igbo communities celebrate the Ofala festival. For Aguleri and most communities, the Ofala festival is celebrated on the first Eke market day of the year. Many visitors take the opportunity to pay homage to the Igwe of Aguleri.
  3. Uzo Iyi Festival. The Uzo Iyi festival is an annual festival that is held in the month of March of every year in the town of Umuoji in Anambra state. Umuoji has 23 villages and Uzo Iyi is a festival that is meant to usher in the farming season and to thank the god of bountiful harvest, which happens to be the “Ideakpulu” stream. The stream is barricaded on the day of the festival and many masquerades come to greet the people. One of such masquerades is the Eze mmuo masquerade which is owned by each village in Umuoji.
Awesome right? You haven’t seen anything yet. You’re going to love Nigeria’s culture…

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