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Saturday, 20 May 2017

World Tourism: THE EYO FESTIVAL IN LAGOS

Image result for eyo festival
A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions. It is often marked as a local or national holiday , mela, or eid .
 
Eyo festival is the most celebrated festival in the streets of Lagos, the former capital city of Nigeria, and presently the commercial capital of Nigeria, popularly called the “Centre of Excellence.” It is located South West Nigeria while Ikeja is its state capital.

Lagos city is divided or separated by a Lagoon. Thus, divided in to two parts: the Lagos Island and the Lagos Mainland. The indigenes of Lagos are mostly domiciled in Lagos Island, known also as, Isale Eko. It is these indigenes, who celebrate the Eyo festival - a cultural and traditional masquerade display, which emerges from the Iga (palace) of the Oba or any of his cabinet members.
Image result for eyo masquerade with black hat
In Eyo Festival, you hear – moyo fun e, moyo fun ara mi- (meaning I rejoice with you and with myself).

The word "Eyo" refers to "the costumed dancers", that is masquerades that coming out during the festival to dance. The origins of this observance are found in the inner workings of the secret societies of Lagos. 

Back in days, the Eyo festival was held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king. It is widely believed that this play is one of the manifestations of the customary.
African revelry that serves as the forerunner is the modern carnival in Brazil. The festival takes place whenever occasion and tradition demand, though it is usually held as part of the final burial rites of a highly regarded chief in the king's court.

 On Eyo Day, the main highway in the heart of the city (from the end of 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 , this indigenous religions have largely lost greater majority of their traditional followers to Christianity and Islam. Be that as it may, the old festivals are still almost universally observed as tourist attractions which generate a lot of revenue for government and small businesses around the Lagos Island venue of the Eyo festival. It is during these occasions that their traditional monarchs and nobles exercise the most of their residual power.

The first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, 1854, to commemorate the life of the Oba Akintoye . Here, the participants all pay homage to the reigning Oba of Lagos.
Today, 20th May, 2017, mark another memorable day as we celebrate the Eyo festival which IS holding at Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu have warned Lagos Islanders against acts of violence during the Eyo festival on Saturday.
The duo gave the warning on Thursday when Owoseni visited the Lagos monarch at Iga Iduganran.
The visit was in preparation for the Lagos@50 Eyo Festival. The police commissioner warned the Eyo masqueraders against violence, adding that any masquerader caught would face the wrath of the law.
Related imageImage result for Rilwan Akiolu - EYO FESTIVAL
Owoseni also urged Lagos islanders to maintain law and order during the festival. While the king said Lagos@50 celebration should be a thing of joy for us to thank Almighty Allah. Citing the day the creation of Lagos State was announced, as indeed a happy day.

The traditional leader said that he had directed the head of the Eyo Masqueraders, otherwise known as “Adimu Orisa’’, to perform their usual display at the TBS square.

“We love peace in Lagos and we embrace everybody for it. I have directed the head of the Eyo to restrict the celebration to the TBS because it is spacious,’’ he said.








Image result for eyo masquerade with black hat  Assisted by OYEKEYE SAMUEL.

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