Festivals in Nigeria and where they are celebrated

Festivals in Nigeria and where they are celebrated

Nigeria is a colourful and beautiful country, whose citizens live a rich and happy life. Nigerians will always love an opportunity to cheer up and have fun. There are a number of fun festivals that are being hosted in Brazil and Italy but you don't have to go abroad to have a good time. You can find a lot of interesting events right here in our homeland. Many festivals in Nigeria have a long history and every year they attract huge crowds of tourists. These activities are dedicated to religion, music, folklore and the cultural national heritage. From this article, you’ll learn about the most important festivals.

Festivals in Nigeria and where they are celebrated

Argungu Fishing Festival

  • This event lasts 4 days.
  • It’s held in the Argungu Emirate Konchil in Kebbi. It is a fertile region with a lot of rivers and beautiful gardens. It is very beautiful here..
  • Farmers and a number of other people attend this event. It is a great way to relax and have fun with other people in an atmosphere where you can enjoy nature.
  • The main purpose of this festival is to bring people together. This Nigerian festival has been held since 1934, embodying unity and reconciliation after a long enmity between Sokoto and Kebbi.
  • In 2005, a fish weighing 75 kilograms was caught. 4 people were required to measure it. In 2006, fishing was banned because of the unsuitable water level.
  • On the 4th day of the festival, a competition takes place, in which thousands of people participate. A shot is heard, after which contenders would jump into the river and attempt to catch the champion's size fish within an hour. The winner receives 7, 500 dollars. Only traditional fishing equipment may be used. A lot of contestants work just with their hands, showing strength and dexterity.

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Argungu Fishing Festival

Osun-Osogbo Festival

The Osun-Osogbo grove plays a sacred role in the Yoruba tribe. This forest is located near the Osun River. It is believed that the goddess of fertility lives here, in whose honor the river is named. There are many sculptures and sanctuaries at the location.

Thousands of people from within and outside Nigeria visit this place often. Since August 1370, an annual celebration has been held, symbolizing the unity with the dead ancestors who founded the city of Osogbo. It is believed that the souls of the kings descended to the earth, and the connection is established through the gods of the grove.

Participants are typically Yoruba tourists. The term of the festival is 12 days. During this time a spiritual purification of the city Ìwòpòpò is performed. Three days later, the fire in a 500-year-old lamp is lit.. After another 4 days, former rulers gather to bless the guests of the event. At the end of the festival, people go to the Sacred Grove under the leadership of clergymen. This walk is cheerful as a result of the dances, songs, and unabated drums that fill the air.

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Osun-Osogbo festival

New Yam Festival

This celebration takes place annually in early August-October. It is conducted throughout Africa, but especially in Nigeria and Ghana. Each community can independently determine the date. The event is as old as the culture of the Igbo people. Its goal is to gain the approval of the ancestors and of God. People thank the supreme forces for their help in growing the crop which, in this case, is yam.

The festival of fertility brings together different communities of the Igbo people. Fried yams are cut and eaten. Boiled dishes and porridge are also made. Palm oil is added. Spices like pepper, salt, onions and some other delicious ingredients are also used in preparation of the dishes.

The meal is accompanied by folk dances, masquerade, and musical performances. This is a very colourful and fun event. People from all over the world often come to witness it.

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New Yam Festival

Calabar Festival

Calabar Festival is known as the biggest street party in Africa. This event is held to attract tourists to Rivers State. People from different regions and countries come here to relax and have fun. The event take place between 1 to 31 December. It is s very important part of the cultural life of Nigeria.

The event was held for the first time in 2004. The then governor of Rivers State decided that his region should become the center of tourism in Nigeria. Because of this event, a considerable attention is paid to the culture and historical heritage. At the same time, it facilitates the participation of local residents and visitors who bring in business that helps the economic improvement of the state. At the moment, this holiday and the place where it is held are considered the pride of Nigeria.

The program of the event is compiled by a special committee responsible for culture and tourism. Each year, there are new and interesting features and additions. For example, in 2009, there was a major football championship. Famous international stars and talented local musicians took the stage. There are sailing races, fashion shows and dance events. Other actions depend on the year. For example, there can be essay writers competition whose goal it is to revive the reading culture among young people.

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Calabar Festival

Lagos Carnival

This is another incredibly bright and cheerful event and is one of the most outstanding holidays in West Africa. It is combined with the annual national festival of the people of Lagos and dedicated to the national culture. The history of the event began in the colonial period when the former Brazilian slaves returned to their homeland and settled in Lagos in the 19th century. The tradition of celebrating this festival was revived in 2010. Now every year, you can admire the beautiful costumes, listen to musical performances and watch skilled dancers perform. Nigerian, Cuban, and Brazilian feature are usually mixed to make the event really special

You will witness colourful fashion, unusual body paintings and impressive parade through the streets of the city. All this raises the mood and makes the people cheerful

Community leaders wear traditional costumes and emphasize their high status, making the event more interesting. Anyone, regardless of their city or country can take part in this colourful extravaganza.

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Lagos Carnival

Eyo Masquerade

This is an event in Lagos that sees the passing of the Eyo Masquerade. This is a wonderful holiday for tourists and locals. "Eyo" is a word that is related to dancing in costumes.

In ancient times, the festival was carried out to send the soul of a dead king or chief to the afterlife and open the way for a new leader. It is also believed that the masquerade is a form of African entertainment that appeared before the famous Brazilian carnival.

On the day of the festival, the central street of Lagos is prepared which makes way for a large-scale procession. People wear white clothes to look like spirits. In the culture of Yoruba, they are called "tall Eyo".

The first of such event occurred on 20.02.1854. Citizens honored the memory of Oba Akintoye. These events are also dedicated to acting leaders. Masquerade is held at any time the circumstance requires it, although, it is typically done as the funeral for a highly respected Lagos chief.

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Eyo Masquerade

Many Yoruba people have become followers of Islam and Christianity, so traditional religions have lost their former importance. In any case, old festivals are still being given great attention. They a valuable opportunity to bring a lot of money to the state and representatives of small businesses working in the places where such events are held. Also, during these times, the powers of monarchs and aristocracy can be noticed.

READ ALSO: Public holidays in Nigeria 2017

Source: Legit.ng

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