Odo Festival- Nigeria
In Africa, it is popularly believed that the dead possess the power of rebirth and that they are neither gone nor forgotten, but stay with the living in a less physical form. The Odo festival of the Igbos in Nigeria demonstrate these African traditional beliefs.
The festival starts in September and usually ends by April. The preparations for the festival involves heavy food preparation, usually done by the women, and sacrifices by the spiritual male leaders of every home.
The Igbos believe that the dead rise again and spend six months with the living, usually appearing in the form of female and male masquerades. The masqueraders are usually men who belong to the Death Cult Society. Before the dead are welcomed into their former homes, they are welcomed back to earth with a masquerade parade with drumming and dancing.
There is usually more celebration during the six-month period when they enter their homes to eat, drink and catch up on things that have happened in their absence. At the end of the festival, they are led back to the land of the dead with mournful celebrations.