Ewi of Ado leads indigenes in Udiroko Festival of togetherness
As part of efforts to showcase the cultural heritage of Ekiti State to the world, the Ewi of Ado, Dr. Rufus Adeyemi Adejugbe Aladesanmi III, will lead sons and daughters of Ado-Ekiti to celebrate the 2019 Udiroko Festival in the town.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, Oba Aladesanmi III, who last visited Lagos about 28 years ago, said the festival, which holds from August 12 to 20, is a new year celebration that signifies the beginning of another traditional year.
Udiroko is a euphemistic expression of the significance of the first meeting of the Ado-Ekiti people under the Iroko tree to celebrate the founding of Ado Kingdom under the paramount ruler of the Ewi, who, thereafter, gave a royal proclamation of the first gathering under the iroko tree as the first day in Ado Ekiti calendar year.
Oba Aladesanmi said, ”through the festival, we constantly celebrate our ancient past and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ado people in ways that give currency to the past and precisely project the present for a productive future. It is a festival that has nothing to do with rituals, fetishism and idolism. It will start with a Jumat service and end with church thanksgiving service.
“Ewi activities on the Udiroko day include, offering of prayers at various traditional points in Ado-Ekiti seven days before the celebration, appearing in the most sophisticated royal regalia, exhibition of beautiful beaded crowns of different shapes and sizes with deep-seated history, reciving greetings and messages from each war chief with diverse forms of military dances and traditional songs, speech from the throne, entertainment of guests other than real indigenes of Ado-Ekiti among others.”
Chairman, planning committee, Udiroko 2019 Prof. Sunday Akindele said the theme of this year celebration, ‘Enforcing and sustaining the solidity of our history, culture and tradition’ was chosen to as a strategy to put the festival on a global platform to better its lot and usefulness to the cultural well being of the Ado-Ekiti people.
It is now an event or celebration that is ICT-driven and people come from different parts of the world to watch the ceremonies.”Chairman of the occasion, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi said Ado-Ekiti, which has been in existence for centuries, is reputed for various traditions but stressed that chief among them is the Udiroko Festival, which is recognised and celebrated worldwide by indigenes
Adelusi-Adeluyi, who is the founder and Chairman of Juli Pharmacy Plc, as well as an indigene of Ado-Ekiti, solicited the support of all, toward the success of the festival, which he noted promote traditions of the town to the international community.
Representative of Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the decision of the state government to partner in celebrating the festival was to rebrand, globalise its celebration and seek marketers for the festival so that it would become self-sustaining.Fayemi, who was represented by the Director General of the state’s Council for Arts and Culture, Wale Ojo-Lanre, stated that festival celebrations in the state is bringing economic prosperity and attracting investment opportunity to those who own them.
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