Eri Kingdom celebrated the New Yam Festival today, 19 August 2017.
The New Yam Festival is an annual festival observed mostly by the Igbo people of the Middle belt, South and East of Nigeria. It is held at the end of the rainy season which is different times in different communities starting from early August to October.
Yam are the first crop to be harvested and it is the most important crop. It is a staple food of the Igbo people. In Igboland, it ties the Igbo communities together. The harvest symbolizes the abundance of produce.
The festival also known as Iwa Ji ,Iri Ji or Ike ji (meaning eating yam), is observed throughout West Africa , Especially in Nigeria. It symbolizes the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle.
The evening before the New yam Festival, old Yam must be consumed or discarded and on the day of the festival only dishes made out of yam is served. Palm oil is used to eat the yam.
The oldest Man in the community eats the first yam offering the yam and prayers. Rituals are performed to express the gratitude of the community for making the harvest possible.
Transcript of prayers made by His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo at Obu-Gad Enugwu Aguleri, Iduu Eri Kingdom in the presence of:
1. Ndi Ichie (Elders in Council)
2. Ndi Ojiana Aguleri
3. Eze Eri Cabinet
We are gathered here today to thank Chukwu for the work we did has yielded good produce. The work we did was that we cut yam, took some of it and planted in the soil. Few months later, it grew and produced bigger yams.
In our presence today, we have Oji n'ato (3 Kola nuts), Nzu (white chalk), Ego Oji (kola nut money), Ose Oji (alligator pepper), Mmaya (drinks), Ewu (goat), Efi (cow) and Ji (yam).
As we prepare this new yam into pounded yam, served with soup, we pray that as we eat it every sickness in our bodies shall leave.
As we eat this new yam, new things shall happen in our lives.
It shall be well with the Igbos on Eke, Oye, Afor and Nkwo.
Peace, love and progress must be in Igbo land.
No evil shall befall the Igbos. May the enemies of Igbo repent and embrace peace.
Chukwu, You are the One we pray to. We pray to You on Eke, Oye, Afor and Nkwo. We call on you Chukwu of our forefathers Eri, Gad and Abiama .
Prayer for Igbo Land:
Igbo land shall have peace. May we follow the right path.
Whoever is fighting for the good of the entire Igbos, Nigeria, Anambra, Aguleri and Enugwu Aguleri, it shall be good for that person too.
So it shall be.
His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo declares the eating of new yam open by eating the first plate of pounded yam served with ofe nsala at
the New Yam Festival 2017
Click the image below to
see other meals made from Yam
May the connections continue!
Festival images and video footage is provided by His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo's Facebook Page. Click Here to like it.