See This Festival In Nigeria Where Masquerades Flog Anyone Wearing Shoes Or Smoking, See Why!! • illuminaija
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See This Festival In Nigeria Where Masquerades Flog Anyone Wearing Shoes Or Smoking, See Why!!

See This Festival In Nigeria Where Masquerades Flog Anyone Wearing Shoes Or Smoking, See Why!!

The Eyo festival is a major tourist attraction in Lagos state. The Eyo Festival is a Yoruba festival in Lagos, Nigeria. The word “Eyo” refers to the masquerades that come out during the festival. https://youtu.be/Zl34eOIAgn0

The Eyo festival may be held in honor of a chief from a ruling family, and Oba who had died, and when a new head of an Iga or a new Oba is installed on the throne. The word “Eyo” also refers to the costumed dancers, known as the masquerades that come out during the festival. 

See This Festival In Nigeria Where Masquerades Flog Anyone Wearing Shoes Or Smoking, See Why!!

The origins of this observance are found in the inner workings of the secret societies of Lagos. Back in the days, The Eyo festival is held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king. It is widely believed that the play is one manifestation of the customary African revelry that serves as the forerunner of the modern carnival in Brazil. 

On Eyo Day, the major highway in the city’s heart (from the end of the Carter Bridge to Tinubu Square) is closed to traffic, allowing for procession from Idumota to the Iga Idunganran palace. The white-clad Eyo masquerades represent the spirits of the dead and are referred to in Yoruba as “agogoro Eyo” (literally: “tall Eyo”). 

Among the Yorubas, the indigenous religions have largely lost the greater majority of their traditional followers to Christianity and Islam. The old festivals are still almost universally observed as tourist attractions which generate a lot of revenue for the government and small businesses around the Lagos Island venue of the Eyo festival. 

See This Festival In Nigeria Where Masquerades Flog Anyone Wearing Shoes Or Smoking, See Why!!

It is during these occasions that their traditional monarchs and nobles exercise the most of their residual power. During the festival, these masquerades can beat up people who are seen with bicycles, motorcycles, suku which is a popular hairstyle among the Yorubas, those who are putting on sandals, and anyone who smokes during the festival. 

Although, the crowd of supporters following the Eyo does not wear white robes. Historians claim the cultural festival was inherited from Ibefun, a town in Ogun state, where the then Oba of Lagos, Oba Akinsemoyin, set out to assuage the Eyo deity so that his childless younger sibling, Erelu Kuti, can bear a child.  

While festivities go on in a carnival-like atmosphere, the Eyo masquerades engage in dancing, singing, and displaying weird acrobatic moves. 

After the festival, the Eyo masquerades move back to the Para, where the opening of the traditional festival was declared at dawn, to tear it down. The tearing down of the Para is instructed by the Orisa Adimu.

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