New Yam Festival

The people of Mbiase are members of the Igbo community in the present day Imo State in Nigeria. One of the festivals they celebrate is the New Yam Festival. Thus is usually done every 15th day of August.

Prior to this day, the men usually go to their farmlands and harvest their yam tubers. They keep these yams. This is because it is an abomination for them to eat the new yam tubers before the day of the New Yam Festival.

The women, in their own part, make sure that the house and their surroundings are clean. They clear the weeds around the house. They sweep the rooms and make sure that the cooking utensils are properly washed.

Little children, particularly the male children, use wood to prepare the swords they would carry about, when they would be dancing the Ekpe dance at the market square on the day if the Festival.

On the day of the New Yam Festival, the head of each household normally kills a cock and pours the blood on their household god. He equally offers the cooked New Yam to the family god, before each of the household eats the yam.

As he does this, he thanks the god and his ancestors for protecting them and urges them to keep on guiding and blessing them.

During the Festival, all the sons and daughters of Mbaise living in other parts of the country come home to celebrate with their people. Again, friends and well wishers come to Mbaise to fraternise with their friends.

The celebration is normally brought to an end with an Ekpe dance at the market square.

The men and young boys come to perform this dance. As they do this, the Ekpe masquerade will be dancing around the market square. The women and little children gather around the market square to cheer the men and young boys to victory as the perform the Ekpe dance.

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