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Nwafor Festival

Nwafor Festival is a major cultural celebration in Ogidi and Ogbunike communities of Anambra State. Within the same period, other neigbouring towns such as Umunya also celebrate Isigwu, while Umudioka people celebrate Nkpukpa. Performed after the cultivation of yam to mark the beginning of a resting period, Nwafor takes a period of 11 days, starting from the first Friday (Afor) in the month of July and for the next 10 days.

It marks the end of the planting season. It is a transitional period after the planting, because by August and September, harvesting of yam starts.

Unlike other festival dates that could be altered, Nwafor has a fixed date well known to the Ogidi People.

The festival is a time of joy for the people as they came together in love and unity in honour of their forefathers and to offer prayers to God for a successful season ahead.

The Nwafor festival is believed to unite the people of Ogidi.

In preparation for the festival the people in the community sanitize their environment to enable the free flow of the event and in readiness to welcome all the indigenes of Ogidi returning home for the festival. A few days to the festival, on Thursday precisely the Orie market day, ceremonial masquerades perform the traditional dance around the community, setting the tone for the main event. There is also the induction of new initiates into the masquerade group. That is for young boys of around 10 years of age. And when he gets initiated, it's assumed that he has come of age; and so he will be present if there is a family meeting.

The highpoint is usually on Sunday when the people gather at the community halls to say prayers and thanks God for a successful cultivation period and also pray for a large harvest of the New Yam.

This festival is very important so much so that there's a popular saying in local parlance that an Ogidi man should not be outside when Nwafor is being celebrated. This clearly points to the importance of the feast to people of Ogidi.

 

Sources

www.ogbunike.ng

authorityngr.com

allafrica.com