Festivals in Benin city

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Festivals are one of the best ways to learn about the culture and history of a country and in Benin City, festivals occur year round, making it easy for travelers to experience these fascinating traditions. Regardless your age, interests or time of year that you will be traveling to Nigeria, there is bound to be a festival that will entertain and educate both you and your family or traveling companions.

Igue Festival

Celebrating the end of the Benin new year, the Igue Festival features a variety of traditional dances, music and parades and is extremely spiritually focused. Prayers are offered throughout this week long event, hoping for peace and prosperity in the new year. This festival is comparable to locals as the Christian Christmas or the Jewish Hanukkah. The festival was not celebrated at the turn of the twentieth century due to government rule but was brought back in 1914. Handed down to the Edo people from their ancestors, there are a number of spiritual rituals such as animal sacrifice and anointing on top of all the festivities that take place during this week long festival.

Eghute Festival

This festival is extremely personal and meaningful to the Edo people, particularly the women. A festival that is performed yearly, the Eghute Festival is a time in which members of the community feed and remember their departed ancestors. Also among the dead that are memorialized are those children that have either died young, were born stillborn or were miscarried.

Ugivie Festival

The most precious possessions that the Edo people hold dear are their coral beads. Local in this region, the brightly colored stone is the exclusive monopoly of the people. These coral beads are passed on from generation to generation and are extremely significant to the Edo people as the beads were once only owned by the gods. One of the primary rituals that occurs during this festival is the washing of the beads. Cleansing these treasures symbolizes cleansing the wealth of the people.

Ikhure Festival

Celebrated on the first day of the new year, the Ikhure Festival is one for the children. Only the children of the neighboring villages can participate in this festival. The festival is designed to allow the children to give thanks for their lives and their well-being. The children are then adorned and given body markings. The end of this festival is also symbolized by the slaughter of animals as a fertility ritual.

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April 12, 2010 change by ctanios

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