The New Yam Festival is an annual cultural festival by the Igbo people in the South Eastern regions of Nigeria held at the end of the rainy season in early August.
The Iwa ji festival as it is called in some dialects is also practiced in Ghana and other African countries symbolizing the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle.
The Celebration is a very culturally based occasion, tying individual Igbo communities together as essentially agrarian and dependent on yam.
The ceremony is marked by a lot of entertainment that includes cultural dances, fashion parades and Masquerade dances. The dish on this day is the new harvest of yam that is roasted and eaten with palm oil or pounded yam with a variety of native soups.
This is day is also observed by the Igbo tribe throughout the whole world.
In Ghana, it is called Homowo and celebrated after the coming of the new moon in August marking the end of the cultivation season but timing varies. For instance, the Ashantis call theirs the Ashanti New Yam Festival and celebrate it between September and December.