Tourists from across the world have besieged the Osogbo, Osun State capital, for the celebration of Osun Osogbo Festival slated for Friday.
Scores of visitors in the capital are bracing up for the festival, a trend which has grown since the UNESCO listed Osun Osogbo Grove on the World Heritage List.
Friday August 24, is the “arugba” (calabash carrier) day and usually regarded as the most important aspect of the celebration. The arugba attracts tourists from across the globe.
Nathias Ryffel, who came from Switzerland for the festival, said that he read about the Osun Osogbo Festival on the German Tourist Guide and decided to come.
“Am just trying to get a glimpse of life in Nigeria and the Nigerian people, I came to Osun Osogbo based on what I read, based on a German Tourism Guide book I got.
“I got information about the festival as one of the biggest attraction in Nigeria and I was told that the festival was going to take place soon, so I decided to come,” he said.
Mr. Ryffel said Osogbo is “like a home” to him.
Christian Zeier, a tourist from Switzerland, said that he came based on the information he got from a Tourism Guide and the trip was made to satisfy his curiosity.
He said that the groove needs more attention and called for improved infrastructure in the groove.
Mr. Zeier urged the management to put signs that explain some of the features at the groove.
“There should be a sign where things are explained, where you can read, because it’s difficult for somebody to explain everything about the Yoruba culture.
“But if you have an information display it will be so interesting,” he said.
Idris Ogundeji, an Abuja based businessman, said he came to Osogbo for the purpose of witnessing the events.
Mr. Ogundeji said that it has become an annual event for him and is not willing to stay away from the ceremony.
A woman, who identified herself as Tinuola, said she flew in from the U.S. because of the festival, describing it as “too interesting to miss”.
Most hotels in the city have been fully booked by Tourists who came to witness the festival.