By Sodiq Lawal
The ancient city of Ile Ife was agog on Friday as the Alapin Of Ile Ife, Chief Mopenu Adejumo, and the residents of the town performed for the first time the symbolic trip from Iremo road to his palace in Ogbingbin at Akodi Onamuwagun compound to mark this year Masquerade (Egungun) festival
The Egungun festival is a part of the Yoruba traditional religion annual festivals in Ile Ife .It symbolizes the return of the important personalities from heaven (Ara Orun). It is an annual celebration that comes up in June.
Egungun otherwise known as masked ancestors annually commence in Ile – Ife after the Masquerade Chief Priest invoked the spirit of the ancestors ,this act is known as ”Alapi” it marks the beginning of the festival.
The Alapin of Ile –Ife Chief Adewale led the commencement ritual for this year festival by dancing round the ancient town.
The ceremony however witnessed heavy downpour for Three hours which according to the worshipers signifies Gods acceptance of sacrifice.
He acknowledged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi for resusitating the ignored deities in Ile-Ife which is currently attracting the foreigners who cherish African culture.
Also, a worshipper, Chief Adedibu Olarewaju attributed the rain that poured to the spiritual power of Egungun to make life better for the people through bumper harvest of farm produce.
Olarewaju said that the rainfall is a landmark beginning of planting and plenteous harvest and admonished the citizenry to value their tradition and culture