In this article, Legit.ng lists the public holiday dates in December 2023, helping you plan your year-end activities and make the most of this joyous time.
Whether you're looking to travel, celebrate local customs, or simply enjoy some well-deserved rest, knowing the holiday calendar is your first step in creating memorable experiences this December.
Monday, December 25 - Christmas Day
Monday, December 25th, marks the joyful celebration of Christmas Day, a cherished holiday observed by millions of Nigerian Christians and others worldwide.
It's a time when people come together to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, exchange gifts, share festive meals, and create lasting memories with loved ones.
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The air is usually filled with the spirit of giving and goodwill, and the world is adorned with dazzling lights and decorations.
Tuesday, December 26 - Boxing Day
Tuesday, December 26th, is celebrated as Boxing Day in many parts of the world, including Nigeria, Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other countries.
This holiday is a time for giving back and showing appreciation for the service industry and a day for sports, shopping, and charitable activities.
It's a day for enjoying leftover holiday feasts, watching sports events, and making the most of post-Christmas sales.
Boxing Day is a time for relaxation and extending the spirit of generosity beyond Christmas.
End of Year Holiday by companies (last two weeks of December)
In Nigeria, the end-of-the-year holiday period, typically encompassing the last two weeks of December, is when many companies observe a well-deserved break.
This period allows employees to unwind, spend quality time with family and loved ones, and reflect on the year's achievements and challenges.
It's a time when the hustle and bustle of the working world momentarily gives way to celebrations, festivities, and relaxation.
Companies often use this time to organise end-of-year parties, express appreciation to their staff, and plan for the year ahead.
It's a significant cultural and social tradition in Nigeria and fosters a sense of togetherness and renewal as the new year approaches.
How are public holidays declared in Nigeria?
The Ministry of Interior, currently headed by Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, declares public holidays on behalf of the federal government in line with the Public Holidays Act.
According to the Public Holidays Act, Nigeria officially observes at least nine public holidays annually. They include New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Workers' Day (1st May), National Day/Independence Day (1st October), Christmas Day, Eid-el-Fitr, Eid-el-Kabir and Eid-el-Maulud.
Best places to spend the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays
While some Nigerians may choose to spend the holidays with their families in the village, many others may opt for family vacation trips.
"Everyone travels in December, one way or the other. If it’s not a vacation, it’s a Christmas holiday in the village, a wedding, or a burial," Favour Obioha, a travel blogger and writer, told Legit.ng.
Obioha, who focuses on Nigerian destinations, shares some ideas for those thinking about exciting places to spend their holidays. They include:
- Ibom Icon Resort, Akwa Ibom state
- Crystal Lake Resort, Oguta, Imo state
- Mariam Babangida Leisure Park, Asaba, Delta state
- McCarthy Besch, Abraka.
- Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, Enugu state
- Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River state.
- Ikogosi Resort, Ekiti state
- IITA, Ibadan, Oyo state
- Lakowe, Lagos state
- Landmark Beach, Lagos state
- Almat Farms, Abuja
- Zuma Rock Resort
Christmas: How to plan for holiday travels
The travel blogger, who is currently on a mission to discover hidden gems across all 36 states of Nigeria, also offered tips on the best ways to plan holiday travel.
According to Obioha, who shares her travel stories on her blog, researching ahead of holiday travels is essential.
"Knowing the means of transportation beforehand is key to knowing whether the guests should/can book ahead because there is usually a price surge around this time of the year.
"Booking everything ahead is equally key: accommodation, transportation, etc. To avoid “fully booked”.
She also advised anyone interested in holiday travels to be open-minded about the crowd situations because this is a common experience in December.
"Everything is on the high at this period, so planning ahead is very important. Know the kind of experience you want and find places that are most suitable for that. For instance, are you travelling with kids? Do you want adventure or relaxation?
"Know your budget and plan accordingly," Obioha added.
Isese Day: More states declared public holiday in 2023
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that at least four states in Southwest Nigeria declared a work-free day in August for public servants to commemorate the Isese Day 2023 celebrations.
The Isese Day is set aside in most southwest states to celebrate the indigenous Yoruba culture and traditions and preserve the Yoruba heritage.
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