The ancient Town of Umueri in Anambra East of Anambra State has announced that this year's 'New Yam festivals' would take place on 16th September, 2017
This announcement was made by the Royal Onowu of the Community, His Majesty Chief Mike Ekwonu (Ezeakonobi Ezennia)- The Onowu Iyasele XIII of Umueri,during the festival Pre-event tagged "Okika Mmuo" feast, which took place at "Ama Mgbago" at the heart of Ikenga Umueri.
In the Community, this age-long festivals is ranked as one of the top most festivals alongside Onwa isaa, Iguaro, oputo etc. Although there is little or no written evidence exists about the origin of the festival, it has since remained part and parcel of the people’s custom and tradition, as it was usually held at the beginning of each harvest season to thank the God for bountiful harvests of farm produce, especially yam, which the man described as "king of Crops"
In the community, there is no specific date for the celebration of this annual festival that occurs in every other Igbo community. The Onus of pronouncing the date lies with the Onowu, who doubles as the Traditional prime minister as well as the custodian of tradition in the community.
Prayer of Supplication
At the "Okika Mmuo", Onowu thanked God and offer a supplication for a bountiful harvest season. He also requested for divine protection as the community enters the festive period and then proceed to declare that comes three native Igbo week[September 16], that the main event will take place, amidst, spontaneous shouting of his traditional title by the crowd. "Onowu Iyasele"
He equally used the opportunity to pray for peace between the town and her neighbors, particularly their Sister village of Aguleri. He pleaded that the two communities should continue to see each other as an inseparably sibling and declare that there shall be no more strife in the area again
wow, interesting to see that in reality)