Ulesun Festival

Ulesun Festival is a festival meant specifically for unmarried young ladies, which takes place over a period of thirty-six days during the months of January and February; married women are forbidden from participating in this festival.

The said ladies are required to be between the ages of twelve and twenty-one years of age and are led during the festival by an Olori Ulesun.

Each girl enjoys sumptuous meals comprising Iyan (pounded yam) and a very rich soup prepared especially for the occasion.

During the festival, the young ladies are kept in semi-isolation in a camp outside Idanre, where only their parents and relatives are expected to visit them with food, water, meat and fruits. The celebrations are held in sequence according to the quarters from which the young ladies come. The festival starts with girls from Irowo quarters followed by those from Isalu quarters and then those from Idale quarters.

The festival includes some of the high chiefs such as Chief Ojomu and Chief Sama and the Owa (King) offering prayers and undertaking some native rituals.

The Ulesun festival is peculiar amongst the various festivals in Idanre in its requirement for each of the participating girls to bring a plate of bat soup for her celebration; their relatives or lovers are expected to help with catching the bats used for the soups.