Nigeria is a multicultural and multi-ethnic nation with a lot of people from its diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and these people tend to celebrate their culture as it is their pride to be who they are. One way people celebrate their culture in Nigeria is through carnivals, they dress up in their native attires and go on matching across the street dancing and playing music. Below are some of the best carnivals in the country.
Among the biggest carnivals you would see in Nigeria, the Carniriv carnival is one of them. This carnival is a one that is native to the lovely capital city and people of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria. This carnival is one that is done every year in the country and more than two million individuals participate in the festivities, the dancing, the singing; it is entirely an experience one would not be so eager to miss out on. The carnival lasts for a period of seven days and people are allowed to be a part of the carnival without being charged. During the festivals, you can eat from the variety of seafood that is prepared for the purpose of the celebrations.
Carniriv carnival is a combination of culture, fashion, tradition, and lifestyle all put together and this is one way the country’s heritage is displayed.
Ogwashi-Uku carnival is another one of the biggest carnivals you would find in Nigeria. Carnivals have been going on in the country for many years, but, the oldest among them all is the Ogwashi-Uku carnival which draws people in their thousands to be part of the festivities. Ogwashi-Uku carnival is a carnival that is held in Delta State Nigeria and the carnival lasts for three days, the first day being on the 24th of December starting out with a road show, and then moving on to paying respects to the various Ogbe (meaning clans) in the land and finally the end of the carnival is on 26th of December.
What you will find in this carnival include a carnival float procession, cultural dances, musical concerts, fashion shows, dinner parties, quizzes, competitions, talent hunt and displays targeted at the progress and development of the community.
Lekki Sun Splash
The next carnival that we are to take a look at in Nigeria is a carnival known as the Lekki Sun Splash. The date this carnival is held always falls on the 25th of December down to the 26th of the same month. Lekki Sun Splash is always held at Maiyegun Beach in the Lekki Peninsula in Lagos State. This carnival is basically a kind of music carnival and it is big in that more than one hundred thousand (100,000) people attend the festivities. The carnival provides opportunity to both established music artistes and even those that are rapidly working towards success in the music industry to showcase their talent in whatever genre of music they do, be it fuji, gospel, reggae, disco, high-life and so much more (there are really no restrictions to what genre of music you want to do, as long as it’s music, you are welcome to perform).
The Ofala festival is also sometimes called the Ofala Nnewi. It is a carnival that is held for two days in both the months of December and January in Onitsha, Anambra State. The citizens of Nigeria living in this part of the country are the ones who push the boat out in this particular festivity. The word “Ofala” came from the combination of two separate words, “Ofo” which literally means “authority” and “ala” which literally means “land”. The point of holding this festival is to bestow honour and respect towards the Obi or the king for his leadership.
A lot of people have the belief that this festival is the most conspicuous and biggest cultural festivity in the whole of Igbo land in Nigeria which lionizes the culture of her citizens. The festival features parades and masquerades dances, one exceptional year to end the year.
The next on our list is the Igue or Ewere festival in the city of Benin, Edo State Nigeria. This carnival just as the rest that have been discussed above is an annual occasion in the land of Benin. The cultural festival is usually held during the first half of the month of December in Benin City and the carnival features a lot of activities like acrobatic displays, people dancing in costumes (masquerades), as well as a long parade to the palace of the Oba of Benin. One way to know and get an in-depth understanding of the culture of the Benin people is to be part of this carnival. The festival is colourful and participation is free of charge. This carnival commemorates the marriage between Oba Ewuare to a woman whose name was Ewere.