FESTIVAL: Urohi Community Annual Festival 2017

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BY Prince Kelly O. Udebhulu.

Across Urohi community and among the people of Urohi, Edo State of Nigeria in the diaspora, the last weekend of every January, is gladdened with the celebration of Urohi Annual Festival which is best pictured in the words of Chinua Achebe.

As Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) describes:

“The pounded yam dish placed in front of the partakers of the festival was as big as a mountain. People had to eat their way through it all night and it was only during the following day when the pounded yam “mountain” had gone down that people on one side recognized and greeted their family members on the other side of the dish for the first time.”

Urohi people are the inhabitants of Urohi Community, Esan West L.G; Edo Central Senatorial District, Edo State, Nigeria, rule by an Onogie (Monarchical King). How Royal Majesty, Aidenogie 1.

The Community is known for agricultural produces like rice, pineapple, yam, cassava, orange, mango and guava, hence tagged:

“The Food Basket of Edo State”.

Craft works with wares such as carving, hand-woven clothes, ebony rings, bowls, ash-trays, flower pots and bronze objects together with the art of basket-making which are veritable works of art like shopping baskets, waste paper baskets and farmer’s wicker baskets are major skills found among Urohi People.

Urohi Community holds the highest community in Esan Land that harbors “Farm Settlers” and community inter-marriages record. It is visible and proven.

At this annual festival, there are dance ceremonies, gift exchange, marriages; young beautiful faces appear in their new wears, settlement of minor and major disputes among families, friends and leaders. Outsiders and visitors from other tribes, communities, towns, cities and countries visit Urohi Community, the people meals are tested and eaten to satisfaction, the people’s mode of dressing are copied, the beautiful and eloquent accent of Esan Language softened the hearts that attends this festival. Trading flourishes paving ways for settlers to resident in Urohi Community and contributes to the known inter-community/tribal marriages.

By last Friday of January annually, which is the starting day of the annual festival, chieftainship titles are honored on well meaning people selected to be honored by the Royal Palace, crowd of people surged with energy and vivid animation. Electrified participatory charm is seen everywhere. There is an infectious spirited aura of being at a historical festival of people heritage and culture.

The next day which is Saturday, dignitaries, thousands of visitors, dances, enormous site seeing ceremonies, tributes to the Royal Palace, Chieftaincy titled holders are seen in their dignify attires and head cut styles, the aromas of different cookings and passage of cooked foods here and there make passersby to over feed even without tasting the food yet. A visit to the festival is really a sure trip!

During the festival and after the festival on Sunday being the last Sunday of January annually, sorrows vanishes, future life partners identify, misdemeanors check and hooliganisms minimize among youths and visitors.

Thank you for your visit to Urohi Community Annual Festival this last Friday of January.

Long Live HRH, AIDENOGIE 1, Long Live the People of Urohi, Long Live Esan People, Long Live Nigeria.

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