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Eyo festival is one of the most captivating festival in Lagos.

Let’s talk about Adimu Orisa play also known as Eyo..

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The word “Eyo” also refers to the costumed dancers, known as the masquerades that come out during the festival. The origins of this observance are found in the inner workings of the secret societies of Lagos. Back in the day, the Eyo festival was held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king. It is widely believed that the play is one of the manifestations of the customary African revelry that serves as the forerunner of the modern carnival in Brazil On Eyo Day, the main highway in the heart of the city (from the end of Carter Bridge to Tinubu square) is closed to traffic, allowing for procession from Idumota to the iga idanrugan palace. The white-clad Eyo masquerades represent the spirits of the dead, and are referred to in yoruba as “agogoro Eyo” (literally: “tall Eyo”).

The first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, 1854, to commemorate the life of the Oba Akintoye.

Homage

Here, the participants all pay homage to the reigning Oba of Lagos. The festival takes place whenever occasion and tradition demand, though it is usually held as part of the final burial rites of a highly regarded chief in the king’s court.

Among the Yorubas, the indigenous religions have largely lost the greater majority of their traditional followers to Christian and Islam. Be that as it may, the old festivals are still almost universally observed as tourist attractions which generate a lot of revenue for government and small businesses around the lagso island venue of the Eyo festival. It is during these occasions that their traditional monarchs and nobles exercise the most of their residual power.

Festival dates

2000

  • 2000,Commemorating Justice Coker, a Lagos high chief, the Olori Adimu and the Olori Eyo of the Adimu Eyo cultural masquerade .

2011

  • November 26,commemorating Prince Yesufu Abiodun Oniru, a Lagos nobleman.

2017

  • May 20,commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lagos state tagged Lagos@50 and also to commemorate the life and times of the late Oba of Ikate Kingdom Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi Kunsela 11.

    Prohibited items

    Here is a list of prohibited items at the festival:

    • Okada motorcycle taxis
    • bicycles
    • sandals
    • Suku – hairstyle that is popular among the Yorubas, one that has the hair converge at the middle, then shoot upward, before tipping downward.
    • smoking
    • female with head tie or headgear or any covering of the head
    • male with cap of any kind
    • wearing of the Eyo costume overnight or to cross a river or lagoon.

    The masquerades are known to beat people who use any of the prohibited items at sight with their staffs.

    Which month is Eyo festival celebrated?
    May 20, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lagos state tagged Lagos@50 and also to commemorate the life and times of the late Oba of Ikate Kingdom Oba Yekini Adeniyi.
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