Nigerian Festivals just like any other festival found in most parts of Africa is a traditional, cultural and a social occasion celebrated by different traditional groups in the country.
Some of these celebrations and feasts happens in honor to their deities and traditional gods in their tribe while few others may be celebrating just to fulfill a cultural rite in the land.
The entire Nigerian federation is endowed with many tribes and ethnicity with various languages, traditions and cultures. These ethnic groups do have unique festivals in diversely and some of these festivals are done many times in a year.
An outstanding thing among these festivals is the rich, colorful and entertaining atmosphere you get when these occasions are going on. There is a display of a rich cultural heritage with various well prepared delicacies of such tribe(s).
Apart from these Nigerian festivals which takes place in the country, there are other festivals organized by cooperate bodies which helps to promote and celebrate Nigerian art, this can be found in the film and music industry.
This article aims at exploring the most popular Nigerian festivals, their dates and what they really mean.
Most Popular Nigerian Festivals
1. Calabar Annual Carnival
Cross River State is the home to one of the biggest street party in Africa. It is seen as the most anticipated festival in Nigeria. This carnival is the showcase of the rich cultural heritage of the state.
During this carnival which is been held in the early days of December, it has so many features, traditional and cultural displays and it’s seen as one of the major tourist attractions of the country.
The Calabar carnival is a very outstanding one with it’s colourful costumes, locally prepared delicacies, the cultural and masquerade displays and a lot of activities which distinguishes these festival in the nation.
2. The Eyo festival
The indigenes of Lagos State, Nigeria celebrate this festival every month of May with colourful masquerades in display and diverse showcase of local dance and arts.
The eyo festival is seen as another popular festival in Nigeria with a major attraction to it which is the masquerade display. The eyo festival is another tourist hub in Nigeria. The festival is a wonderful culture from the Yoruba community. So do make sure you hang around in the month of May when you find yourself in Lagos, you will be glad you did.
3. The New Yam Festival
This festival is well known and well celebrated among the igbo, idoma (Southern and Eastern part) and the North central people of Nigeria. It is a unique celebration that brings unity and peace among those that celebrate it.
It features many cultural displays like masquerades, dances and different dishes and it mostly happens in August the end of the raining season.
4. The Osun-Osgbo Festival
This celebration which also have so many rich cultural activities in display takes place in Osun State Nigeria in the month of August.
It is known as a long event festival held within two weeks to adore a deity which is the river goddess of Osun State.
There are sacrifices and traditional rites made during this festival and the various displays makes it an epic one.
5. The Argungu fishing festival
The North-western Kebbi State is the home to the argungu fishing festival. Held annually in the month of February with a showcase of fishermen from all parts of the state who come together to compete among-st themselves on who will catch the biggest fishes in the Rivers.
There is a traditional net prepared by these fishermen for the festival. the argungu festival by the Kebbi people is a colourful event with various religious activities and this festival stands out in the nation.
6. The Felaberation Festival
This annual event held in celebration of a Nigerian Afro-beat legend, Fela Kuti with more than 40,000 in attendance to the festival held at Fela’s Afrika Shrine.
Over 1 million people around the world view this event which is displayed on various satellite channels and nation television.
The feleberation event is for sure one of the biggest anticipated event in Nigeria.
Other Popular Nigerian Festivals Include:
7. The Ofala Festival by the Igbo People of Nigeria
8. Lagos Carnival by Lagos State Government
9. Ojude Oba Festival
10. Carniriv Festival
11. The Egungun Festival
12. The Durbar festival
13. Eko International Film Festival (Ekiff)
14. Lagos Theatre Festival
15. National festival of arts (Nafest)
16. Mmanwu Festival
17. The Abuja Carnival
19. Sango Festival
20.Lagos International jazz Festival
In conclusion,these Nigerian festivals are very unique and portrays the beauty and diversity of the nation. It also foster unity and love amongst the people.
Nigerian festivals has become well known in the international community and this recognition has attracted and made Nigeria an amazing tourist destination.
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