Anambra State Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Don Onyenji, says the state will hold the largest and most colourful new yam (Iri Ji) festival on October 21.
Onyenji, who spoke to newsmen in Awka, yesterday, said the festival would be held at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, with Obi of Onitsha and Chairman of Anambra Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Alfred Achebe, as the father of the day.
He said the Iri ji festival is symbolic, as it marks the celebration of the harvest season and the place of yam as the king of all crops in Igbo land.
The Commissioner said Anambra had a rich cultural heritage, including the intangible ones like ceremonies, such as the new yam festival, which is the most popular, normally held between August and November every year.
He said Anambra is peaceful and safe, and everyone is invited.
Onyenji said: “In line with Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s agenda for reviving and promoting the Igbo cultural heritage, I want to inform you that the Anambra Iri Ji festival will be held on October 21.
“As a state, Anambra is selling the festival to the world as one major cultural event; so, the 2023 Iri Ji festival will be one with a difference.
“All the traditional rulers in the state and town union leadership will be there, and the 21 local councils will be on parade.
“The festival is all about love and sharing; we invite all Anambra and non-Anambra citizens to come and witness the cutting of yam, as well as the celebration associated with it.”
Onyenji said the governor, who would be the chief host, would recognise the person with the biggest yam with the ‘king of yam’ (Eze Ji) award.