Hundreds to attend New Yam Festival celebrating Nigerian culture

The Igbo community is hosting its annual New Yam festival, a day packed with food, music and dance.

Hundreds are to attend a special festival celebrating Nigerian culture in Aberdeen.

The north east city is recognised as having the largest population of people from the West African nation in Scotland.

An ethnic group within the community, the Igbo, is marking its unique heritage with dozens of families on August 12.

Celebrated annually in Nigeria at the end of the rainy season in early august, the New Yam Festival aims to bring people together to thank God for this year’s harvest.

It is an important event for Igbo people all over the world and is a joyful celebration that seeks to strengthen unity within communities.

The festival uses yam to do this as it is seen as one of the most handy crops in Nigeria – with some calling it the “king of the crops”.

Chika Ogbummor said soulful music and dance is a way for them to enjoy the New Yam Festival.

He told STV News: “It brings unity among us We have maize we have other crops but the New Yam is the father of all crops so before eating we celebrate it thanking god almighty for our harvest.”

Aberdeen’s Nigerian community is believed to be the largest in Scotland.

And this year they are inviting everyone to the party, explained Martina Chukwuma-Ezike, who is from Nigeria.

“I see Aberdeen as one of the most vibrant and welcoming cities in the world,” she said.

“When you come here Aberdeen is open – it’s inclusive, it’s welcoming. A typical Aberdonian greets you with a smile and who doesn’t want that.”

On the day, the chairman opens the main ceremony and someone prays and reminds every one of the purpose and culture behind the gathering.

A symbolic roasted yam is displayed, cut and then is shared around for everyone to eat. Entertainment and the feast then follow.

The colourful festival is held dear by the Igbo community and they hope everyone will join them in this year’s celebrations

“It’s  all about celebrating that diversity and inclusion in the city, said Edward Obi of the Igbo community.

“It serves as a bridge between our traditions and the wider community, fostering understanding, appreciation and inclusivity.”

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