The Igue Festival has its origin in the ancient Benin Empire, and was originally celebrated as a festival to renew the powers of the famous Oba Ewuare. There are actually two different stories about this festival with one of them stating that it coincided with the marriage of Ewuare to Ewere. The Igue Festival is one of several cultural and traditional festivals held in Edo State, South-South of Nigeria between September and March every year.
The Igue Festival is usually
celebrated during the yuletide season (between Christmas and the New Year). The activities usually involve the Oba blessing the land as well as its people. One significant aspect of the festival is the fact that the Oba is forbidden from setting eyes or being in front of non-Benin natives during this period.
The Igue Festival is the most colourful of all festivals held in the state every year, and that is why it attracts thousands of people to Benin. It marks the end of a new year, and marks the beginning of a new one. However, it is important to state that the festival was actually being held in September until Oba Akenzua II moved it to enable it tally with other festivals.