10 Major and Exciting Festivals in Edo State

There are very rich major and exciting festivals in Edo State. More than one hundred major festivals are celebrated in the state between September and March every year. Those celebrations offer opportunities for reunions of members of the family and friends, it also offers opportunities to visitors to see and feel the rich cultural heritage of the state. More than one hundred major festivals are celebrated in the state between January and December every year.

Major and exciting festivals in Edo State

Below is the list of major and exciting festival celebrated in Edo State

1.  Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Igue and Ewere Festivals
Igue and Ewere festivals are the most colorful and festivals that pulls a lot of crowd among the Benin’s. They are reminiscent of the previous events in Benin history. Each of the events is associated with past Obas around whom Benin customs and traditions are interwoven. The Igue festival is celebrated yearly by every reigning Oba and all Benin citizens at home and abroad to mark the end of the Bini year and to usher in a new one with renewed hope for peace and prosperity.

2. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Eho Festival                                                                                             Eho is one of the famous cherished festivals that is being celebrated in Edoland it is a festival that comes up every year in mid-September. It dates back to the pre-historical period and is occasions for paying tribute to descendants in every family unit; a period for reinforcing the harmony of all members in the family fold and an occasion in which donations are sent to fathers-in-law.

3. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State:  Ebomisi Festival
Ebomisi a contracted form of Obo- imwen-isi (the herbalist has no permanent station) Is celebrated annually between February and March in commemoration of a famous herbalist and magician.

The festival is celebrated for five days at various dates in the villages forming Ugo clan in Akugbe District of Benin. These are Ugoneki, Ugonoba, Ugo-Emoson, Okuekpen Okogo and Ugbayon.
Ebomisi hailed from Uwan on the Benin /Ifon road and was farming at a place later named after him. The town is today called Ugbogiobo (the chief herbalist‘s farm).

4. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Ohonomoimen Festival Of Iuleha
Ohonmoimen in the local language means ‘it is all well for me’. As the name implies Ohonmoimen festival is celebrated annually between January and March by Iuleha clan in Owan to mark the end of a fruitful year and the beginning of another. It offers an opportunity for expressing gratitude to God, through ancestral gods and the gods of harvest for all the good things of the past. Prayers are also offered for protection and fruitful harvest in the coming year.

Read Also: 10 Major Traditional Festivals You Must Know

5. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Adu Ikukun Festival
In Etsako there are several traditional festivals which the people celebrate annually or biennially to commemorate certain historical events of cultural importance. Some of them are celebrated to mark the beginning and the end of the local seasons. The Adu-Ikukun festival is celebrated by the people of Avianwu clan of Etsako. The clan consists of Fugar. Irakhor, Ogbona, Iviarun and Ivinone villages and to them the festival is of great significance. It is celebrated during the months of February and March to signify the start of the year. This is another major and exciting festivals to enjoy in Edo State.

6.   Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Ukpe Festival
As the name implies Ukpe (year) is celebrated in June by all the villages comprising Ewohiwi to mark the end of one year and the beginning of another. Homage is paid to ancestors to express gratitude to them for protecting the people throughout the year. The festival is for a four-day duration and held separately by the various village-firstly by Idumuagbor and lastly by Ikeken. The celebration features entertainment, service at the ancestral shrines, exchange of gift and traditional dancing.

Read Also: 10 Niger Delta Cultural Festivals 

7. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State:  Ighele Festival
Ighele festival is one of the most important festivals in Ishanland. It is celebrated annually in Ewu in the month of June and is significant to the inhabitant of Ewu because of the belief that Ighele brings peace and prosperity. Besides this idea, the festival appeases the ancestors of Ewa. About a week to the festival the area which encloses the shrine is cleared and well decorated in the traditional norm of Ighele. The festival begins with gorgeous dressing. Young girls and adults appear in their best. The wearing of gold trinkets is commonplace and those who can afford coral beads also put them on, this young girl in the company of the adult women dance around the town.

8. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Oto Uromi Festival
As the name implies, Oto-Uromi (Uromi land) is celebrated for a day in July or early August to appease the land of Uromi so as to produce a good harvest. It is always held on an Uromi market day, always fived by the Onojie of Uromi acting on the advice of the elders and chiefs. An interval of 15 days is always given between the announcement and the date of celebration to allow for preparation.

Read Also: Igbo Culture and Tradition: 10 Forbidden things in Igboland

9. Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Ivbamen
This is one of the major and exciting festivals in Edo State. It is like other festival celebrated in various parts of Edo state. Ivbamen is celebrated annually for a week in April or May by Ozalla clan in Owan to initiate young men between 28 and 30 years of age into manhood. It also marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. The festival is as old as Ozalla clan itself. Each celebrant participates in it for three consecutive times so that by the time a man of 28 reaches 30, he must have completed the full turn. No young man is allowed to participate in the festival less than twice and if any celebrant dies after performing the ceremony only once, for instance, it is regarded as bad luck for the person.

10.  Major and exciting festivals in Edo State: Oriminyan Festival Evbiam
Oriminyan is celebrated at Ogute-Evbiame in Emai Clan for three months (January- March), and in some parts of Ora and Iuleha. Although the festival is celebrated annually, a new age group is initiated every fourth year. It is celebrated to ensure peace and plenty in the town. The main features are masquerade dance in the evening at the center of the town and merriment every five days and young men participate in the events. The masquerades wear marks and image and people regard them as heavenly spirits and not man-made.