The Most Colorful festival of Benin City: The Igue Festival
Igue festival is a Benin festival originating from present-day Benin City in Nigeria, West Africa. This festival celebrates the Oba's magical power. There are a lot of rules regarding being an Oba, the things people believe about how he gets his power and how to not incur his wrath. So every year there's a feast in his honour.
Tradition states that the first festival coincides with the marriage of his new wife Queen Ewere. He adored and revered her so much after his marriage he blessed the land with his magical powers. As a show of gratitude for his kindness, his people began celebrating him. Every year since then, the seating Oba blesses the land and its people.
The Igue festival lasts for four days between Christmas and New Year but the start date rests on the shoulders of the village elders. If you want to participate in this beautiful-colourful event be in Benin within that time frame!
This colourful festival starts with a little "Igue ritual"; the anointing of the Oba's head with the blood of a sacrificed animal to signify purity. The chiefs then pay homage to him, followed by his people before the actual celebration begins. The sacrificed animals are properly slaughtered with the merriment of the festival. Remember, anyone who isn't a native will not stay in the presence of the Oba during this ceremony.
The Igue festival not only celebrates the Oba but also serves as a thanksgiving ceremony for the end of the year and hope for a more glorious new year. This festival in layman's term is an intertwined festival for good luck for the Oba's reigns; "An Oba's luck determines the fate of his people".