Akwa Ibom Cultural Festivals
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"The Akwa Ibom Project involves attitudinal re-orientation; cultivation of a positive mindset; instilling self-confidence through massive empowerment of our people; and the inculcation of the moral values of hard work, courage, honesty, service and pragmatic peaceful co-existence"

- Akpabio

Akwa Ibom State is located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It has a population of 3,920,208 and a land area of 6,900 sq Km. It is located between latitudes 4o 31’ and 5o 53’ north and longitudes 7o 25’ and 8o 25’ east. It comprises 31 kocal government areas. Uyo is state capial. Major urban centres include Uyo, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Ikot Abasi and Oron.

major ethnic groups are Ibibio, Anang, Oron, Eket, and Mbo. The vegetation is characterised by three easily distinguishable types namely the saline water swamp forest, the fresh water swamp and the rain forest

Festival Calendar

Ekpiri Akata This is a public outing meant to expose anti- social behaviors through songs sung mainly at night by masked performers. It is common in Itu and Uruan January - March
Mbre Mmong This is a biannual aquatic festival connected with a fertility cult and ancestral worship in Nsit Ubium. The celebration is accompanied by a Boat regatta. Mid-January- Mid- March
Usoro Ubine Ikot It is a- hunting expedition and lifting of sanctions on seven-year fallow farmlands for cultivation in Ikono- Ndiya February / March
Ekpe Outings A feast for protection of farm crops and domestic animals. They are displayed by beautiful masquerades. It is celebrated by Uruan and Oron people March / early April
Ekong Festival An entertainment festival that witnesses the display of colourful masquerades. It is meant to re-establish peace, love and order and to publicly disgrace transgressors. Mid-June – End of September
Feat of Etefia Deity A clan celebration of appeasement and thanksgiving to the communal deity of Uyo, Ikono and people in Ini Local Government Areas. July / August
New Yam Festival A thanksgiving feast to the gods and ancestors for yam harvest in Ikot Ekpene, Ikono, Nsit Ubium, Ibino etc. July / August
Usoro Abasi Thanksgiving and appeasement of the communal gods before the celebration of the New Yam in Ikono August
Feast of Anyan For appeasement of the communal deity of Otoro clan in Ikot Ekpene. July / August
Eset (Ise) Feast A feast to pay tribute to the warriors in Ukana Clan. July / August
Iso Awa-Itam feast A thanksgiving and appeasement celebration to the deity of Awa Itam. An occasion to mark clan re- union July, August / December
Atakpo festival Annual feast and ritual worship in honour of Uruan clan deity. It is accompanied by masquerade displays and merry making Aug. / Sept.
Ikon (Melon)Festival and Ebre (water yam festival) Thanksgiving for a good year’s harvest of melon and water yam accompanied by dances and music. Aug. / Sept.
Ekong Nkemba Annual celebration in honour of the ancestors of Idu, Uruan and Mbiakong people. August
Usoro Ekpo In remembrance of the ancestors and gods of the land. A full month's celebration, this feast is associated with the Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Ibibio and Annang peoples. August
Obodom Eyong (Drum in the Sky festival) A thanksgiving ritual to the gods performed once every seven years, in Ikono and Afaha Obong November
Nkuku Atan Period of appeasement and thanksgiving to the gods and communal deity by Ibiakpan clan in Nsit Ubium. November
Nkim-Eyong festival Biannual feast for the appeasement of the gods and ancestors during the time of harvest at Idu- Uruan November / December
Mbok and Nkwobo Traditional wrestling festival celebration organized to commemorate the outing ceremony of young maidens in Oron/Oruku areas. December
Oko festival This is a burial or coronation celebration of chiefs, and great warriors of Adiasim community No particular time
Mfuuho A State festival of masquerades privately organized annually December


Among these festivals are the new yam festival of harvest of the Ibiono and Ikono people. It is a clan communion and group solidarity a re-affirmation of traditional authority and social order, sanctioned by the awesome appearance of masked ancestral spirits.

Usoro Usuuk Udia, a new yam festival celebrated in the month of June and September; Usoro Iyak, a fishing festival usually celebrated by the riverine communities of the state. This feast takes place in the months of November and December.

Usoro Ikong is the melon festival celebrated in the month of September; Usoro Ebre festival to mark the harvest of water yam is celebrated in the months of September and October.

Usoro Idio is a festival for clearing and burning farmlands, usually done between the months of January, February and March. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of the planting season.

And the Ekoon Ndara Akpakpa, the corn festival celebrated in the months of November and December.


Among these festivals include the Usoro Ekong, a festival of traditional heroes and heroines and war generals. It is usually held in September and October. The Ndap Ekpo/Ukappa Ison Ekpo festival is a feast for the celebration of ancestral masquerades and spirits for their guidance and protection of their communities.

There is also the Atara Ukwa festival to celebrate the traditional deities between the second and third week of September every year.

The Usoro Eduwad/Obodom Enyong is the festival of spears featuring the playing of specially designed wooden drums (Obodom) on top of trees. Usually celebrated in the second week of November, it is a festival that is connected with chieftaincy and giving of traditional honours and titles to deserving heroes.

There is also the Usoro Abasi “feast of the Gods”, a religious purification ritual and symbolic reenactment of the mysteries of the king yam which is accompanied by thanksgiving offerings performed by the Chief Priest “Okuku” of the clan.

Ikot Eyo is an ancient annual festival of animated puppet displays. This communal festival is meant to celebrate important traditional events such as rites-of-passage, initiations and coronations that take place all through the year at village and town playgrounds.



These festivals are to mark and celebrate achievements in various traditional occupations of the people. Among the festivals is;

Usoro Ita, a hunting festival that takes place in the month of August.

Usoro Idiong, a festival of traditional medicine men and diviners usually celebrated in the month of August.

The Usoro Isong Inyang, the water regatta festival is associated with fishermen, to celebrate the dexterity of canoe men in their occupation. It is a festival to display mastery of the art of sea faring and warfare as a result of the nature of the terrain. This festival is mostly experienced along the Itu river estuary in the state.

The Nsit Ubium biannual aquatic festival known as Mbre Mmong is accompanied by rituals conducted at the communal shrine, a colourful boat regatta and cultural displays recalling the migration of forebears. Besides these main festivals to celebrate the seasons, occupation and personalities, there are also festivals like Usoro Mboppo, to celebrate successful completion and outing ceremony of girls in the fattening (Mboppo) room. It is a year-round activity and celebration.

The Usoro Ekoon festival of colourful masquerades or of mythological and lesser cosmological spirits is also an all-year-round activity. Various dancing performances are on display during these festivals, a further confirmation of the abundant rich culture of the people of Akwa Ibom State.

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