One of the most amazing cultural practices you can find in the entire South Eastern Nigeria is the Isu Ahu festival in Elu Ohafia.
Elu Ohafia is one of the 26 villages in Ohafia, Abia State Nigeria.
Isu Ahu is a festival done only in Elu Ohafia. It is an annual festival held as part of the activities marking what is known as Igba Otamu which is the Traditional Retirement of specific Age Grade members, an event which comes up at the end of the year.
The practice of Isu Ahu Day is done by various Age Grades in Elu Ohafia.
During the Isu Ahu Day, individual members of the Age Grades who would be retiring from community service by the end of that year, present a pot of Ahu which is Moulded Melon, a pot of very rich soup, wraps of Utara also called garri, stock fish and other materials to the community as criteria for their qualification for retirement from active community service.
Families, friends and well wishers of members of the Age Grade usually lead them to the community square for their presentation and this usually come with lots of merriment. The event attracts tourists from across the world due to its fantastic nature.
Though the festival is done by only women in Elu Ohafia, the entire 26 villages in Ohafia participate in the event. The women of Elu Ohaifa who are presenting Ahu and other food items at the village square actually cook for the entire Ohafia land. They prepare their food items and carry them to the village square in pots marked with their names for identification. These women who are gorgeously dressed are escorted to the village square by their family members who are all proud to be part of the festival.
No matter the age of a woman in Elu Ohafia, once she is qualified to be part of the festival, her family members dress her gorgeously and lead her to the village square to be part of the prestigious Isu Ahu festival.
The movement of the Ahu and other food items is done with singing, dancing and merriment since it is a prestigious process. All the food items are gathered at a place where they are then shared to all the villages in Ohafia. The palm wine for the occasion is presented by the men in various age grades. Every food item is kept in a hall where the elders of Ohafia carefully share them, ensuring they get to every village in Ohafia.
After the sharing of the Ahu and other items, representatives of the villages are called to carry their shares and move to various locations where they are split among village members present at that time.
After the festival, friends and well wishers relocate to the family houses of the women who celebrated the Isu Ahu to continue with the merriment.
This is one special event any toursit would wish to witness.