Monday, 22 July 2013


 Talking about Culture and Festival in Owerri, Imo State, the people of Owerri just celebrated the Oru-Owere festival last Saturday...

Owerri Municipal is the hub of cultural activities in Imo State. It is the melting point of culture and tradition in the state. The ORU OWERE historical cultural festival takes place in the area every year. The festival is also known as the 'traditional Christmas' of the people of Owerri, a festival in remembrance of the founding of Owere (Owerri) historically, about 1463 AD or thereabout but in the 14th century by Ekwem Oha Arugo
photos by Samuel Henry
ORU-OWERE- is the cultural carnival of the people of Owerri Nchi Ise community. It is an annual event which reminds the people of Owerri of their origin, their roots, their ancestor and fore-fathers as well as the hospitality and peace which they are associated with. A period when the entire Owerri Nchi Ise community, young and old men and women, boys and girls at home and abroad, converge at UGWU EKWEMA, hug, laugh, smile, dance and celebrate peace. It is otherwise known as Owerri birthday anniversary. Activities marking the festival last for a week. It usually begins with the roasting and eating of special yams. The festival is celebrated every July each year.
Oru Owere is the kings festival which is marked by a period of the observance of peace, love, friendliness and togetherness, all these devoid of bitterness, quarrels, antagonism and physical confrontation. No weeping when death occurs during the period, no firing of cannon and it's a time to make up quarrels. The period begins in the month of June and last till mid August and marked with key events like the beginning of the period, the roasting of old yam, the corn porridge entertainment and the day marking the end of the period which are always Orie market days.
Between the roasting of old yam (Oru Owere proper) and the corn porridge meal is the GRAND FINALE which is characterized by a colourful procession of AGE GRADE formations in Owerri Community through a given route in the old city.
Invited guests are received and made to have a feel of Oru Owerri with traditional dances, displays and entertained. the first item of entertainment after the breaking of kolanuts by the King is the roasting of old yam.
The Owerri indigenes are free and begins to eat the new yam after the MKPU KPU OZU (Corn Porridge) which is the day that marks the beginning of the NEW CALENDAR YEAR in Igbo Culture. Accordingly, it is pertinent to NOTE that Owerri people, the indigenes of the capital of Imo state DO NOT celebrate the new yam.
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