Cultures and TraditionsIgbo

The Igue Festival- Edo's colourful festival

The Igue festival takes the pre- eminence among festivals celebrated in Edo State. The most colorful and paramount importance to the people of Benin. It is celebrated every december by every reigning Oba and his subjects to mark the end of the Benins year and as a thanksgiving to the outgoing one. This festival is usually celebrated around the month of September in the ancient times. It was Oba Akenzua that move it to the month of December to confide with other series of festivals. When Oba Ewuare The Great {1440- 1473} came to the throne, he made many innovation into Igue festival because of the terrible experience he had in life, before he became the Oba of Benin.
The Benins have a long Lineage of Obas, and Igue is also an occasion to celebrate Ugie- Evhoba among other occasions. During this period, the anniversary of their deaths is celebrated as the Bini, and for seven days propitiations are made to the spirits of the departed Obas. This is done to invoke their blessing on the reigning monarch and their families and subjects.
The Igue festival, which is a period of offering thanks to the gods for sparing their lives and to ask for blessings, is also used for offering sacrifices to some deities in the palace. During this period, chieftaincy title holders display their Eben emblem in the Ugie dance as they appear in their attire, according to the type of dress the Oba bestowed on individual chiefs during the confernment of title, while the Oba seats majestically in the royal chamber (Ogi- Ukpo). The Igue festival is also a period to drive away evil spirits (Ubi) and bring blessings (Ewere) to every home in the kingdom.

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (July 19, 2015). The Igue Festival- Edo's colourful festival. OldNaija. Retrieved from


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