In this post, we will look at the 42 Notable Festive Periods in Akwa Ibom State and their Significance. Akwa Ibom state is a state which values her culture and thus sets aside specific periods in the months of each year for the commemoration of these cultures hence conserving them from possible extinction.
Most festivals or events organized in Akwa ibom state has its significance, it could be for remembrance, to honour someone, to proclaim peace and unity and also to send a message across.
Various festivals celebrated in Akwa Ibom state includes:
- Agrarian/food festival (festival hosted for agriculture)
- Vocational/Occupational Festivals
- Ancestral/Deitic/Ceremonial Festivals
- And other significant festivals
Among these festivals are the new yam festival of harvest of the Ibiono and Ikono people. It is a clan communion and group solidarity a re-affirmation of traditional authority and social order, sanctioned by the awesome appearance of masked ancestral spirits.
1. Usoro Usuuk Udia: a new yam festival celebrated in the month of June and September;
2. Usoro Iyak: a fishing festival usually celebrated by the riverine communities of the state. This feast takes place in the months of November and December;
3. Usoro Ikon: it is the melon festival celebrated in the month of September;
4. Usoro Ebre: festival to mark the harvest of water yam. It is celebrated in the months of September and October.
6. Usoro Idio: is a festival for clearing and burning farmlands, usually done between the months of January, February and March. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of the planting season.
7. Ekoon Ndara Akpakpa: the corn festival celebrated in the months of November and December.
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These festivals are to mark and celebrate achievements in various traditional occupations of the people. Among the festivals is;
8. Usoro Ita: a hunting festival that takes place in the month of August.
9. Usoro Idiong: a festival of traditional medicine men and diviners usually celebrated in the month of August.
10. Usoro Isong Inyang: the water regatta festival is associated with fishermen, to celebrate the dexterity of canoe men in their occupation. It is a festival to display mastery of the art of sea faring and warfare as a result of the nature of the terrain. This festival is mostly experienced along the Itu river estuary in the state.
Among these festivals include:
11. Usoro Ekong: a festival of traditional heroes and heroines and war generals. It is usually held in September and October.
12. Ndap Ekpo/Ukappa Ison Ekpo festival: is a feast for the celebration of ancestral masquerades and spirits for their guidance and protection of their communities. It is celebrated in the months of September and October.
13. Atara Ukwa festival: to celebrate the traditional deities between the second and third week of September every year.
14. Usoro Eduwad/Obodom Enyong: is the festival of spears featuring the playing of specially designed wooden drums (Obodom ) on top of trees.
Usually celebrated in the second week of November, it is a festival that is connected with chieftaincy and giving of traditional honours and titles to deserving heroes.
15. Usoro Abasi “feast of the gods”: a religious purification ritual and symbolic reenactment of the mysteries of the king yam which is accompanied by thanksgiving offerings performed by the Chief Priest “Okuku” of the clan.
16. The annual mermaid worship festival of the Uruan known as Atakpo involves age-set performances, masquerade displays and cultural dances.
17. Ikot Eyo is an ancient annual festival of animated puppet displays. This communal festival is meant to celebrate important traditional events such as rites-of-passage, initiations and coronations that take place all through the year at village and town playgrounds.
It is feast to reaffirm the people’s cultural identity and a reunion between nature, man, spirits and communal gods.
18. The Nsit Ubium biannual aquatic festival known as Mbre Mmong is accompanied by rituals conducted at the communal shrine, a colourful boat regatta and cultural displays recalling the migration of forebears.
19. Usoro Ekoon: festival of colourful masquerades or of mythological and lesser cosmological spirits. This feast is celebrated mostly in August/September; it is also an all-year-round activity.
Various dancing performances are on display during these festivals, a further confirmation of the abundant rich culture of the people of Akwa Ibom State.
20. Usoro Mboppo: to celebrate successful completion and outing ceremony of girls in the fattening (Mboppo) room. It is a year-round activity and celebration.
CALENDAR OF FESTIVALS AND CULTURAL EVENTS OF AKWA IBOM
|21. Ekpiri Akata
|This is a public outing meant to expose anti-social behaviors through songs sung mainly at night by masked performers. It is common in Itu and
| January – March
|22. Mbre Mmong
|This is a biannual aquatic festival connected with a fertility cult and ancestral worship in Nsit Ubium. The celebration is accompanied by a Boat regatta.||Mid-January-Mid-March|
|23. Usoro Ubine Ikot
|It is a- hunting expedition and lifting of sanctions on seven-year fallow farmlands for cultivation in Ikono-Ndiya||February / March|
|24. Ekpe Outings||A feast for protection of farm crops and domestic animals. They are displayed by beautiful masquerades. It is celebrated by Uruan and Oron people||March / early April|
|25. Ekong Festival
|An entertainment festival that witnesses the display of colourful masquerades. It is meant to re-establish peace, love and order and to publicly disgrace transgressors.||Mid-June – End of September|
|26. Feat of Etefia
|Deity A clan celebration of appeasement and thanksgiving to the communal deity of
Uyo, Ikono and people in Ini Local Government Areas.
| July / August
|27. New Yam Festival
|A thanksgiving feast to the gods and ancestors for yam harvest in Ikot Ekpene, Ikono, Nsit Ubium, Ibino etc.||July / August|
|28. Usoro Abasi||Thanksgiving and appeasement of the communal gods before the celebration of the New Yam in Ikono||August
|29. Feast of Anyan
|For appeasement of the communal deity of Otoro clan in Ikot Ekpene.||July / August|
|30. Eset (Ise) Feast||A feast to pay tribute to the warriors in Ukana Clan.||July / August|
|31. Iso Awa-Itam feast||A thanksgiving and appeasement celebration to the deity of Awa Itam. An occasion to mark clan re-union||July, August / December|
|32. Atakpo festival||Annual feast and ritual worship in honour of Uruan clan deity. It is accompanied by masquerade displays and merry making||Aug. / Sept.|
|33. Ikon (Melon)Festival and Ebre (water yam)
|Thanksgiving for a good year’s harvest of melon and water yam accompanied by dances and music.||Aug. / Sept.
|34. Ekong Nkemba festival||Annual celebration in honour of the ancestors of Idu–Uruan and Mbiakong people.||August|
|In remembrance of the ancestors and gods of the land. A full month’s celebration, this feast is associated with the Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Ibibio and Annang peoples.||August|
|36. kpi Ekpo, Udara Idem and
|This is a feast to mark the end of planting and farming season. It is a purification ceremony which involves masquerade displays and dances. This feast is ommon among Annang and Ibibio people.||October – November
|37. Obodom Eyong (Drum in the Sky festival)
|A thanksgiving ritual to the gods performed once every seven years, in Ikono and Afaha Obong||November|
|38. Nkuku Atan||Period of appeasement and thanksgiving to the gods and communal deity by Ibiakpan clan in Nsit Ubium.||November
|39. Nkim-Eyong festival
|Biannual feast for the appeasement of the gods and ancestors during the time of harvest at Idu-Uruan||November / December|
|40. Mbok and Nkwobo Traditional wrestling festival||Celebration organized to commemorate the outing ceremony of young maidens in Oron/Oruku areas.||December
|41. Oko festival||This is a burial or coronation celebration of chiefs, and great warriors of Adiasim community||No particular time
|42. Mfuuho||A State festival of masquerades privately organized annually||December
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