Good day steemians, I hope you're having a good time while staying safe everywhere in the world?
I am joining the Steemit 100daysofsteem Day 60 Friday Challenge, organized by @steemitblog. I will be telling your about the biggest event of the year around me - The Ojude Festival.
The Ojude Oba Festival is celebrated among Yoruba people, and is held in Ijebu Ode, in Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria. This event is held annually, on the third day after Islamic Eid al-Kabir celebrations. The Ojude Oba Festival features performances/presentations from people of different cultural age groups in Yoruba land. The term "Ojude Oba" when translated, means the king's fore-court is usually celebrated with ceremonial displays by about 1,000,000 people from different parts of the world, especially those who are from Yoruba origin and most especially by people of Ijebu descent all over the world.
The origin of this famous festival dates back to 1892, as a religious festival, when the then Oba Adesumbo Tunwase offered landed properties to the Muslims for a Mosque to be built. He also offered the British missionaries the opportunity to preach Christianity in Ijebu Land as well as the land where the first church in Ijebu was built. A group of adherents of the Islamic religion therefore thought it wise to pay homage and show appreciation to the reigning Monarch for his kind gesture and benevolence to them. The festival has however transcended religious lines over the years, and it attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from all over the world.
During the Ojude Oba festival, peers of different ages sit in groups as they observe and take part in the festive proceedings which kicks off with an elaborate display of cultural performances. These groups then take turns to pay homage to the king. Several groups of men and women also come out to dance amidst singing and drumming. The festival is a display of the culture and heritage of the Ijebu people, and it is celebrated with amazing cuisine options, spectacular cultural dances, and great horsemanship prowess.
A Cross Section of Congregants in Group Attires At the Event.source
During this festival, the various horse riding families in the Ijebu kingdom, as well as male/female dance groups are parts of the highlights. The major horse riding families dress their horses and showcase their horse-riding skills to awe the spectators. Meanwhile, for the dance competition, men and women belonging to different age-groups called regberegbe will display their dance skills. The best-dressed regberegbe and horse-riding families are rewarded with cash prizes. Other categories of competitions are held, and winners rewarded by various organizations sponsoring the competition or the event.
The After Party
At the end of all the activities paying homage to the monarch, a crowd of people gather at the venue for an after party, during which popular guests artistes are ready to thrill them with good music, and a lot of dance all night. Some of the artistes who have once performed, or who regularly grace this event include K1 De Altimate, Saheed Osupa, Reekado Banks, Tu Face Idibia, Lil'Kesh, and so on.
The Ojude festival welcomes over 45,000 visitors amidst heavy singing, dancing and drumming, as the crowd pay homage to the paramount ruler of Ijebu-land, HRH Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, and they also celebrate the beauty of their culture and tradition.