5 Vibrant Cultural Festivals in Nigeria

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eyo

Nigeria is a country blessed with all forms of resources ranging from an abundance in its human populace to rich oil wells and a booming agricultural sector.

A country believed to be the giant of Africa and the largest country on the continent based on its population density, Nigeria is blessed with a population of over 150 million people including about 150 ethnic groups with richly diverse cultural practices and beliefs.

In spite of the tremendous influence of modernization and western religion, the relevance of the indigenous culture and traditions of the people has in no way lost its relevance. Hence, there is no better no way to explore the rich cultural diversity of the Nigerian people than taking part in the celebration of its cultural festivals.

These festivals celebrate tradition, heritage and the rich history of the people through colourful attires, artistic expositions and intriguing traditional rites.

To explore the rich heritage of the Nigerian people through cultural events, plan your next trip to Nigeria around the period when one of these festivals will be in full swing;

eyo

  1. Eyo Festival:

The famous Eyo Festival is unique to Lagos, it is traditionally known as the Adamu Orisa festival and it usually held on Lagos Island.

The festival attracts thousands of tourists from across the world who come to see the Eyo masquerades clad in white regalia and large hats as they perform a play representing the spirit of the dead, it is widely believed that the festival is an expression of the customary African fanfare that precedes the modern carnival in Brazil.

Major highways in the heart of the city are usually closed to traffic on Eyo day to make room for the procession’s parade. The large procession usually pays homage to the reigning Oba of Lagos and spectators are expected to take off their shoes to show respect.

Argungu festival

  1. Argungu Fishing Festival:

The four day Argungu Fishing Festival first started in 1934 and has since become one of the most popular cultural festivals in the country. Held in the north western part of Kebbi State, it is an all-men affair where participants are expected to compete in the Matan Fada River for the grand prize of N1 million naira and a new bus, by catching the biggest fish in the river.

Competitors are only expected to search the river within an hour after which the fishes are carried to the scales, the competition is usually held on the final day of the four day cultural Argungu Fishin Festival.

calabar

  1. Calabar Festival and Carnival:

Calabar Carnival has been tagged Africa’s biggest street party, the carnival kicks off at the end of the annual Calabar Festival held in celebration of the rich and diverse culture of the people. Calabar carnival attracts about two million people annually, dancers are usually decked in colourful, vibrant costumes with feathered head dresses and the street parade showcases about 50,000 people.

Ojude

  1. Osun Oshogbo Festival:

The Osun/ Oshogbo festival is one of the most revered festivals in Nigeria. It takes place in the month of July and August annually, the festival is a week-long event held inside the Oshogbo sacred Forest, a World Heritage Site, in honour of the river goddess Osun. Several people participate in the festival, where the riverside is usually dotted with sculptures and shrines for Osun. Many people believe in the power of the goddess to provide solutions to their problems.

Osun

  1. Ojude Oba Festival:

The spectacular Ojude Oba Festival has placed Ogun State on the map as a major tourist attraction in Nigeria. This famous festival is usually celebrated in Ijebu Ode on the third day of the Ileya Festival (Eid-el-Kabir). During the event several citizens and visitors alike pay homage to the king, the Awujale of Ijebuland. A large procession of gaily dressed citizens are usually seen on the streets including a parade from several societies and clans accompanied by the recitation of traditional songs and rapid gunshots in the air.

Aside from the cultural influence, the festival also serves as a platform to solicit and agitate over major issues in the state.

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