The people of Ijeshaland in Osun state have lined up activities to celebrate the 2015 edition of Iwude Ijesha with culture, pomp, excellence, beauty and grandeur.
The festival, Iwude Ijesha is celebrated as a modern version of the old Iwude which is now a convergence of the ancient and modern.
Announcing the 2015 Iwude Ijesha festival, the Chairman, Annual Iwude Ijesha planning committee, Chief Olu Falomo, said that the Iwude is a very unique festival which is eagerly
looked forward to by Ijesha people at home and abroad as it is considered by all as a home coming occasion.
Falomo noted that the festival started several centuries ago in Ijesha land and can be claimed to be the oldest of all festivals of Ijesha people as what is known today as Iwude-Ijesha was called Iwude-Ogun in the past.
He said the festival is a 30 days affair which is normally climaxed with the Iwude celebration where the paramount ruler of Ijesha land – Owa Obokun Adimula, comes out of his palace in the morning, moves in grandeur across a section of the community celebrating with his people and returns to his pakace in the evening.
He said the festival reminds all Ijesas of the chivalry of its forefathers in the internecine wars of Yorubaland which is signified by the various gun shots and brandishing of war swords , all through the ceremony.
According to him, “Iwude festival is in essence, a festival of unity and a festival in which a well deserved honour is given to Kabiyesi, Owa Obokun. Cultural displays are featured on this occassion, such displays include those of the royalty, manifested
in the royal regalia of Kabiyesi Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, the royal beads, the royal crowns, the royal umbrellas, the royal walking stick, the horsetail, the royal steps, the royal smiles and the royal dance.
“The cultural displays also feature the festival greetings of the chiefs with the junior chiefs using the swords to beat the ground in front of the senior chiefs and using such swords to beat those of the senior chiefs. The cultural displays also feature the cultural dances by the people and kabiyesi, Owa Obokun himself.”
Speaking on the activities lined up for the event, Falomo said the event of this year’s festival starts on the 17th December with AYO game, Jumat service, the grand finale being the traditional Iwude-Ijesa outing by His Majesty, Oba Dr. Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, Owa Adimula of Ijesaland and finally, on December 27th with thanksgiving service.
He however said that all Ijesa people, young and old are promised a very interesting, exciting and rewarding experience during the enriching festival adding that lovers of culture and tradition are welcomed to witness the rich cultural heritage of Ijesaland.