Nigeria is a country of almost 200 million citizens. With about 250 unique ethnic groups, our diversity ensures that it is a nation blessed rich cultural heritage and Nigerians pride themselves in being deeply culturally oriented.
One of the ways Nigerian ethnic groups celebrate culture is through its festivals where their customs, fashion and music is usually a feature. Hence, festival times are usually when indigenes go back to their hometowns to connect with their roots.
Some of these festivals are so popular that even attracts non-indigenes and sometimes foreign tourists who are always fascinated by the pomp and pageantry.
This post is to recommend some of the most exciting annual festivals you should plan to attend: –
Osun Osogbo Festival
In August every year, thousands of people gather at the sacred Osun Grove. Main attractions include rituals done to cleanse the city, and the Arugba ritual usually performed to appease and worship the water goddess.
The Eyo Festival is usually held in Lagos Island. It is widely believed that Eyo is the forerunner of the modern day carnival in Brazil. No one is to wear hats during the festival.
Argungun Fishing Festival
The annual four-day festival is held in the town of Argungu in the north-western Nigerian state of Kebbi. Thousand of fishermen equipped only with nets compete to catch the largest fish. The winner usually gets a handsome cash reward in exchanage for the catch. Other attractions include dance and music, sporting competitions and exhibits of arts and crafts.
New Yam Festival
The New Yam Festival of the Igbo people is an annual cultural festival held at the end of the rainy season in early August. Observed mostly by the people of the Middle belt, South and East of Nigeria. It symbolizes the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of another.
This is a royal parade celebrated in northern Nigeria by thousands of men including traditional rulers riding on horses adorned in beautiful regalias. It is a colourful display of culture with a lot of side attractions. It is celebrated during the end of the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitri and Eid al-Adha.
Held in Calabar at the end of the year since 2006, it has been referred to as Nigeria’s biggest street party. The carnival features lots of games and costume displays and is attended by hundreds of thousands including foreign tourists.