Every August 15th of every year, the Mbaise Nation gathers to celebrates the Iri Ji Mbaise Festival (The New Yam Festival )
The Iri Ji Mbaise festival is a ceremony to officially mark the eating of new yam by Mbaise people and most part of the Igbo nation.
Iri Ji is sustained and nurtured by Ezeji title holders. Other supporting groups include EZURUEZU MBAISE, MBAISE PEOPLES CONGRESS, NDI EZE MBAISE OR THE TRADITIONAL RULERS.
Iriji annual event attracts people from all over the world. It has attracted Chief executives, top government officials, governors and vice presidents over the years. It has become a symbol of unity and homecoming for Mbaise sons and daughters.
Unlike many other people, the Mbaise person cultivates and farm in other communities outside his town. The real Mbaise man or woman is hospitable and kind.
He is strong and can withstand hardship. He plays host to unknown visitors. You will find him in almost all parts of the world including areas with harsh climatic conditions and difficult terrains.
The Mbaise man hates cheating and will always stand out bold to claim his right. There is a famous axiom that the fifth person in any Igbo gathering is Mbaise person or that person knows one Mbaise person as a friend or in-law.
Last years Iri Ji Mbaise was held at the Secondary School Playground with His Excellency Rt. Hon. Chukwuemeka Ihedioha, the then Executive Governor of Imo State as the Special Guest of Honour who is a culture-ambassador.
What You Should Know About The Iri Ji Mbaise Festival.
Iriji Mbaise Cultural Festival is a way the people express and promote their culture, translate the work in their hands in which all parts of the Social System work together for the benefit of mankind.
The cultural fiesta has enormous potentials to attract infrastructural development, huge socio-economic benefits, promoting tourism and local contents inform of crafts cultural and artistic talents as well as opening trade and commerce while building bridges with other emerging societies.
Last year, the Chairman Central Working Committee 2019 Iri Ji Mbaise, Chief Austin Onwubiko, stated that the yearly festival celebrates the culture, unity and developmental strides of the three local governments that make up the Mbaise Nation.
“It is a way of expressing our custom, culture, tradition and values to the outside world,” Onwubiko stated. “This year’s focus is to ensure that we propagate and develop the rich cultural uniqueness of Mbaise people, which could be exported.”
According to Onwubiko, many side attractions in the last year’s event was developed to give glamour and intellectual spice to the festival.
As a prelude to the event, Mbaise People’s Congress held a colloquium with a theme ‘Financing the Mbaise University Project’ while a rally to create awareness on the benefits of a drug and cultism free society is already in the roadmap.
Other cultural effects are traditional dances (Nkwa Ji), locking and unlocking of the Yam ban (Ile Obaji), Mbaise Cuisine where different dishes were showcased.
This year’s event no doubt will be slightly different due to the coronavirus pandemic which has necessitated the observance of social distancing.
More Details shortly