Why was the new yam festival important in the novel things fall apart?
The Feast of the New Yam can be described as a way of praising the earth goddess and the clan's ancestral spirits before harvest began. It was traditional to not allow anyone to consume the new yams until this was complete and was further described as Achebe suggests, "Men and women, young and old, looked forward to the New Yam Festival because it began the season of plenty- the new year," (36). Similar to other New Year customs, these people use the Feast of the New Yam to mark the start of a new beginning and making improvements. The old yams are thrown out and the new yams are supposedly healthier and fresh. The old yams were symbolic of old/ bad habits, and the new crops represent resolutions and a chance to start over. Similar to present day, the New Year is a joyous celebration and is a time for excitement and relief. The great wrestling match occurs on the second day of the celebration and serves as a connection between the people of Okonkwo's village and their neighbors.