An ancient traditional festival of the Ikare Akoko people in Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria has been cancelled due to the global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
According to report, this year’s edition of the popular Aringiya festival of the ancient Ikare Akoko will not hold, as the Palace of the Owa-Ale (traditional ruler) of Ikare Akoko has authorised the cancellation of the festival in agreement with government’s directives which forbids gathering of people in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
The festival, according to history, has been part of the town since its inception as it was said to have been in existence about 800 years ago. It will however not hold for the first time in many centuries.
According to a source from the palace of the Owa-Ale, Oba Samuel Kolapo Adegbite Adedoyin, the festival supposed to hold on 17th of May, 2020 but will not take place this year again due to covid-19 pandemic.
One of the organisers, Prince Adeniran Adeyemi, said, “we are trying to rebrand the festival to meet up with the worldly current situation.”
Speaking on the relevance of the festival, he stated that Aringiya is a disciplinarian festival, the only cultural heritage that has the backing of the the two holy book. Aringiya says no sex before marriage so also the two holy books.
“So many people believed that Aringiya festival is worshipping the Brooks where Aringiya festival is been celebrated, Some people also believed that the brooks itself is Aringiya, no, the brooks original name is children’s water (omi omo)
“The meaning of Aringiya is ‘ wayward girl or maiden must be punished. (arinrin iya, ajegi iya) ARIN from arinrin GI from ajegi YA from iya ARINGIYA.
“When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they discovered that they were naked, our forefathers also believed that any girl that can not bath in the open must have eaten the forbidden fruit.
“That was the idea behind bathing maidens at omi omo (children water) for the purpose of discovering those that have eaten the forbidden fruit.
“Today the purpose of bathing naked has been defeated. You see ladies dressing half naked some will even take their naked pictures and post it on social media.
“You will see girls been impregnated by unknown men and all sort of ridiculous act that our forefathers were trying to guide against happening here and there.”
Virgin girls from Iyometa, Orun-un and Idere core area of Ikare usually participated in the popular Aringiya festival.
The annual Aringinya festival is a paramount celebration in Ikare Akoko and it gives the people of the town the opportunity to reconnect with the deity of the land. It is a festival no son or daughter of this community would want to miss.”
Source: Kakaki Newspot