The actual significance of IGUE festival is the ushering in of a new year. It is marked by various celebrations in the Palace and every home in Benin Kingdom.
Prominent among these celebrations is the thanks giving for individual heads in the household for surviving the old year. This is done by every family head with the household with prayers offed on behalf of every head in the house. Usually a big Cock is offered as sacrifice.
If one can afford it a family may also slaughter goat or cow for the family entertainment. It is also shared with loved ones and other people in the neighborhood. The Christians probably learnt from the Binis this act of sharing in love as it is often done in Christmas.
The following morning the youths clean the land of evils and the devilish influences with each carrying burning firewood. They sing” ubi rie giè gha rie….” They deposit the firewood at a designated point and prayers offered for the community. The same youths then pluck bunches of EWERE leaves (ebewere) and start singing prayers of peace, tranquillity, love and development from house to house starting from the Oba’s Palace or Enogie’s Palace and where there is no Enogies, they start from Odionwere’s (eldest man) house.
The youths in the process deposit some of the ebewere leaves as a sign of peace and love in each house. The people in the house may show appreciation in any manner to the youths and they move to the next house. They continue in prayer song like.” ….omokpia ghi wu vbo wana isèè, omokhuo ghi wu vbo wana lsèè, ìsèè ìsèèooo, isèè. Another is” …ewere de kie newere.