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Ibo Festivals and Holidays

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Henry Berrios

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of Ibo Festivals and Holidays

Ibo Festivals and Holidays Research Question How do festivals/holidays play a significant role in Ibo culture, and what connections can we draw from our festivals/holidays with Ibo festivals/holidays? The Significance As with any other culture, holidays and festivals have a big impact on Ibo culture. It is these celebrations that showcase the spirit within a culture and what gives it its flare. They demonstrate what is most sacred to the average Ibo individual in terms of religion, practicality and spirituality, in other words, they are a live representation of what they see is important. For example, the New Yam Festival, which is held as an initiation of the new harvesting season every year, is important to the Ibo people because the crop that they deem the most essential is of course, yams. Yams are the most common food found in most African countries and they are usually the first ones to be harvested, so it would make sense that a festival is made in order to put an emphasis on the need for yams in the everyday life of the African individual. The Significance (Cont.) It seems that the Ibo have a deep connection with nature as they practice certain beliefs that reflect animistic views. They have certain a system of folk stories that try to explain heavenly and earthly functions and offers rules as to how to behave with regard to gods and spirits. This resonates within their distinct celebrations and ceremonies, especially in one such as an egwugwu ceremony, where egwugwu come to pay homage to dead clan-members and soldiers. Ripping off one of the egwugwu's mask is considered a sort of act of blasphemy, being equivalent to "killing" an ancestral spirit. This may result in the egwugwu seeking vengeance, as showcased in Enoch's case when they burn his compound down. Literally. This is a clear representation of how the Ibo people hold these functions with such high regard. The connections between our culture, and the culture of the Ibo The novels revealing of Ibo beliefs, values and beliefs In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe helps the reader create a mental image of a setting of a typical Ibo village. The novel reveals many different aspects of Ibo beliefs, values and practices. One of these beliefs is the Week Of Peace, and the New Yam Festival. The Week Of Peace, is basically a sacred time for the Ibo people. Before any one is allowed to plant their crops they must live in peace with their neighbors for a week to honor the Earth goddess, Ani. It was said to believe that those who broke this scared peace, would not receive a blessing from Ani and their crops would not grow. The novel reveals the importance of this Week Of Peace, by emphasizing the act Okonkwo committed when he beat his wife during this week. It was shocking for the Ibo people because it was the very first time for many years that a man had broken the sacred peace. The New Yam Festival was the time of year the Ibo people celebrated the joy of the new harvest. At night they would through away their old yams and all the cooking pots and pans were washed thoroughly. This was also a time to honor the earth goddess again and the ancestral spirits of the clan. The novels revealing of Ibo beliefs, values and practices Another thing the Ibo believe is that certain animals, people, or objects are looked as, as sacred. An example would be the python. It would be looked as, as something sacred and if you were to kill one or harm it, you would receive a punishment or the same act you committed on the python. Another example revealed by the book is how holy and sacred the egwugwu are. They resembled different spirits of the clans and if one were to unmask one, they were to be punished, by death and/or the destruction of their compound. The book also reveals a personal god that each individual villager has, called an chi. It basically already knows your faith in life, and how it's going to turn out. The ibo people, as said in the novel, are really interested when it comes to a man having many achievements. If a man has none, he is looked as a worthless man, a women. Which also reveals how inferior women are looked as in the ibo society. The Ibo society also seems to take births as something either holy or evil. An ogbanje, as told in the book, is said to be a child who repeatedly dies and returns to its mother to be reborn. It is said that in order for the child to stop returning, the iyi-uwa must first be found and destroyed. Twins also seem to be looked as evil and unholy. So when a mother gives birth to twins, she must get rid of them by placing them in the Evil Forest. The novel, Things Fall Apart, reveals few bits and pieces of important Ibo beliefs, values and practices, but not all. Theses are some of the many Ibo beliefs, values, and practices listed by the novel, the ones listed here stood out to us, seemed strange to us, or really interested us. The novel, Things Fall Apart, really did show the aspect of the Ibo culture, and was very interesting to see this society viewed by someone other than the Europeans/ Conclusion

1) Think of your favorite holiday. Is it similar to any of the Ibo holidays? If so, how?
2) Why do you think some holidays are more significant to a culture than others?
3) How does your culture have similiarities with the Ibo culture. Bibliography "Yam Culture." Yam Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2013. <http://www.new-ag.info/04-1/pfeat/intro.html>.

"African Tribes - Ibo - Igbo Culture." African Tribes - Ibo - Igbo Culture. Trans. Andrew Froiland. The Africa Guide, n.d. Web. 26 May 2013.

"Igbo." EveryCulture.com. Every Culture, n.d. Web. 26 May 2013.

"Culture | Typical food | Visit EL Salvador." Visit El Salvador, Todo lo que necesitas cuando visites El Salvador. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://visitelsalvador.net/en/culture-in-el-salvador.php>.

"El Salvador - Culture, Customs & Etiquette." Country Guides to Culture, Etiquette, Customs & more!. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.culturecrossing.net/basics_business_student.php?id=62>.

"El Salvador - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette | global-etiquette | resources." The Translation Agency for a complete Professional Translation Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/elsalvador.html>.

Achebe, Chinua. Things fall apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994. Print.
#Swagger Meanwhile... By... Henry Berrios
and.. Christian Cruz A) B) B) c. d. The culture of Christian and Henry, would be a mix of American, and Salvadoran culture. Christian and his parents were born in El Salvador, while Henry was born in the United States and his parents in El Salvador. The connection between the Ibo and the Salvadoran culture is probably the structure of the Catholic religion and the Ibo religion. They both have supreme god, lesser saints, and spirits. Catholics also experience lent, which is a time of 40 days of detox in which you abstain from a certain activity or food where meat is also not eaten on Fridays during those 40 days, while the Igbo celebrate something similar known as the Week Of Peace. This is where the Igbo people abstain from all violence before a new crop is grown. We can see the connection between the two religions because they both abstain from some sort of activity. Another connection would be The New Yam Festival and New Years (Fin de Ano). The New Yam Festival is where the Ibo people throw away all the old yams and prepare for the new oncoming harvest. Basically start off new. While New Years, is well, a New Year, where we can start off on a brand new Year, and change a new lifestyle. d. continued
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