Afiolu festival is a festival popularly celebrated in different African culture as new yam festival. The name emanated from the word work (olu) which means celebration for successful work done which makes it a festival marking the end of a successful planting season now paving way for fruitful harvest time. The festival is not just done to celebrate man but also to show appreciation to the gods of the land for successful planting and fruitful harvest, inasmuch pray for more fruitful years. This festival has been in existence from the time immemorial with each generation fine tuning the celebration to their taste and tone still maintaining the original purpose
During the festival the Igwe and his cabinet with the present citizens come together to rejoice, pray, bless the land and the people of the land. The festival comes up once every year normally fixed on the last Wednesday through the last Saturday of the 8th month of the year. Afiolu festival attracts people from far and wide like governors, foreigners, celebrities, friends and well-wishers of the land to come and celebrate with the Igwe and entire people of Nnewi. It is a fun filled event with lots of joy, fun catching, dancing, eating and site seeing with different masquerade parades. This year Afiolu happens to be the first I witness as the daughter of the land. The celebration will be awkward without masquerade parades from different parts of Igbo land which are believed to be spirits coming out to rejoice with humans. In Nnewi there’s this special masquerade called Ajo-ofia as the name imply means evil forest with smokes coming out from its head, the most fearsome and women are not allowed to get close to it. The festival lasts for 3days involving different activities like roasting and cutting of yam, games which could be football or wrestling and lots more. Afiolu is indeed a wonderful festival that people always look forward to. Feed your eyes with images from the events and some ancient images covered during the course of this article.
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