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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Palace of Owa-Ale of Ikare Akoko in Ondo state has cancelled this year’s popular Aringiya festival due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic in which government’s directives forbid gathering of people.
The festival which has been in existence since the creation of Ikare about 800 years ago, will not hold for the first time in many centuries.
The festival that supposed to hold on 17th of May, 2020, can not take place this year again according to a source from the palace of the Owa-Ale, Oba Samuel Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin due to covid-19 pandemic.
Pix: During 2019 Aringiya festival.
According to one of the organisers, Prince Adeniran Adeyemi, “we are trying to rebrand the festival to meet up with the worldly current situation.”
He also spoke on the relevance of the festival, “Aringiya festival is a disciplinarian festival, the only cultural festival that has the backing of the the two holy book. Aringiya says no sex before marriage so also the two holy books.
“So many people believed that Aringiya festival is worshipping the Brooks where Aringiya festival is being celebrated, Some people also believed that the brooks itself is Aringiya no, the brooks original name is children’s water (omi omo)
“The meaning of Aringiya is ‘ wayward girl or maiden must be punished. ( arinrin iya ajegi iya) ARIN from arinrin GI from ajegi YA from iya ARINGIYA.
“When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they discovered that they were naked, our forefathers also believed that any girl that can not bath in the open must have eaten the forbidden fruit.
“That was the idea behind bathing maidens at omi omo for the purpose of discovering those that have eaten the forbidden fruit.
“Today the purpose of bathing naked has been defeated. You see ladies dressing half naked, some will even take their naked pictures and post it on social media.
“You will see girls being impregnated by unknown men and all sort of ridiculous act that our forefathers were trying to guide against from happening here and there.”
Virgin girls from Iyometa, Orun-un and Idere core area of Ikare usually participated in the popular Aringiya festival.