There are more than a dozen public holidays every year in Nigeria, as well as local holidays, festivals and observance days. Some of them, such as Easter and Christmas, are the same as in other parts of the world, but there are some that are reserved for the Nigerian culture.
The Calabar Carnival starts on the 1st December and does not finish until the 31st. Often billed as ‘Africa’s Biggest Street Party’ it is a whole month of celebrations in Cross River State. It was started as a way of attracting more tourists to the area, and it has been very successful in its goal.
There is usually a different theme each year, with Climate Change being chosen for the second time in the year 2016 to highlight the reality of climate change. This is obviously an important issue for the organizers who want to bring about awareness and helpful advice such as that found via the website Mom with Prep.
Also seen as a showcase for new talent, the carnival has live bands among the entertainment. Preparing everything for such a large and lengthy festival is a great deal of work for the organizers, but they are very proud of the fact that its popularity continues to grow each year.
Celebrated for two weeks in August, this festival’s origin dates back 700 years. Originally an annual celebration of the water goddess Osun, it is now a multicultural event that attracts tourists from all over the world. The people of the town of Osogbo are well prepared each year and offer a warm welcome to all of their visitors.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in most countries, as is Father’s Day and even Grandparent’s Day in some. However, in Nigeria, they have Children’s Day, which is a public holiday for all primary and secondary school children. Started in 1964, it is a chance for the children to celebrate and often their schools will organize festivities for them.
Some children get to do things they would not be able to otherwise do, such as being a radio broadcaster for a while, or the governor of their school. All over the country there will be workshops and activities, the priority being to give the children a really fun day.
Having a Great Time
The Nigerian people know how to have a great time and they certainly make the most of their public holidays and festivals. There are some days where a whole village will come together and bring food and drink, and they will entertain each other. They will welcome complete strangers into their celebrations as they feel if something is worth holding a festival for, so anyone should be able to enjoy it. It should be no surprise that there are many people from the US that take their vacations in Nigeria, and particularly at the times when they know the festivals will be taking place.