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Erigwara is what sons and daughters of Mbaise look out for during Christmas. Erigwara is the traditional way of celebrating Christmas in Mbaise. The word exist only in Mbaise.
Erigwara in Mbaise
Erigwara is when one comes to your house during Christmas celebration to eat and you reciprocate by going to their own house to eat also during there own Christmas celebration.
You might be wondering if Christmas celebration is celebrated separately. Yes it is, just in Mbaise land. Christmas celebration like the whole world is observed every 25th December, but in Mbaise 25th is the beginning of the Celebration. Mbaise celebrates it from 25th December to 2nd January every year.
Several communities in Mbaise celebrates Christmas according to their own market day, going by Eke, Orie, Afor and Nkwo. More than one community can share same market day and such must host the Christmas same day.
Erigwara day for a community is a huge celebration. Families look forward to hosting friends and relatives from different places. They cook food with their biggest pots. Friends and relatives from other communities that have celebrated or yet to celebrate will gather in the house of who the know in the host community.
This gathering starts from 2pm, this is to enable the host community to be ready. Guest are served different delicacies, most common is jollof rice and some drinks. Also foods like soups, ugba, pepper soup and other things are served. Families serve what the can afford.
In most cases some families expecting large number of people hire canopies to accommodate them all.
Guests are also entertain with music of different backgrounds. Little children from different communities comes to host community dancing from one house to another and they are been sprayed with money. At the end of their dance they share their money. In most cases they used the money realised in buying fireworks.
At the end of the merriment, mostly torwards evening youths gather at the market square of the host community to celebrate Christmas further. This enable youths to hook up with new and old friends.They buy drinks, foods and watch masquerade display, they also play fireworks. Some communities can equally entertain their guest with music, football competition, raffle draws, wrestling and other activities..
This celebration continues until satisfaction of everyone and they go to their various houses. To continue the celebration the next day with another community or communities that will be hosting.
Erigwara continues in Mbaise till the 2nd of January. Mbaise sons and daughters that stays abroad can now start to think of going back to their base once this is over..
Keep visiting our blog to learn more on the culture of these wonderful people from the Easterner part of Nigeria known as the Mbaise people.
We shall be writing on Iwa Akwa in our subsequent articles. This culture literally means initiation into Adulthood. Mostly perform for the men. Once a guy of certain age performs this culture automatically he’s seen as adult. He can sit with elders of the land. Interesting! Right. Keep visiting for this and more
Wait, One of the culture that exist in Mbaise is the general cutting of palm oil fruits for the development of the land. They do this to build basic amenities and award scholarships to outstanding students using the money realized from this culture. Beautiful ! , isn’t it?. Read more on this amazing culture here Igbu Nkwu in Mbaise