Interesting: Top 7 beautiful and rich Nigerian Festivals
Celebrations are very much a part of the Nigerian culture, which carries a lot of pomp and pageantry. Festivals are a way to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage as well as the traditions of various ethnic groups in Nigeria.
These festivals and carnivals also feature music, dances, fashion, and food, giving visitors the opportunity to join in and have a first-hand experience of Nigerian culture. Along with major traditional festivals across Nigeria, there are also modern festivals, which have become a platform for younger generations to express themselves. Here’s how you can get to know this country through music, dance, and food.
List of the Nigerian Festivals in no Particular Order
New Yam Festival
Yam is a staple in West Africa and a typical food you find around Nigeria. Unlike other foods, yam is quite different and much respected. It is more than food.
However, In the very old days, commonly in the southern part of Nigeria, barns of yams show the wealth of a person,
and even to date, it’s the only indispensable food acceptable for bride price when a man seeks a wife. Someone with a large collection of yams has prestige.
Also, The typical African yam, which is Dioscorea rotunda is one the best in the world in terms of
quality and size.
From planting till harvest, the process of farming yam is usually sacred by some cultures. Harvesting and celebration of the first yams are around June. Men would dig up their first yams for display and the farmers with the biggest yams get a lot of admiration. After the celebration, guiding the cooking and roasting procession of the yams are by the women.
Furthermore, They are quite notable places in Nigeria where are yam festival is a very big festival. Among these places are the Ekinrin Adde community in Kogi state. This festival takes on the second week of June every year.
The procession starts with the New yam masquerade dancing around in town with a huge crowd carrying the yams; following the roasting of the yam, the King and top chiefs eat the yam which leads to the declaration that it is okay for everyone to eat.
According to tradition, it is unacceptable for the community member to eat new yam before the celebration. This festival also serves as a period to thank the gods for a bountiful harvest and also ask for abundant rains for the next planting season.
It is a common practice for indigenes of the town to return home to celebrate, meet their family members,
and also an opportunity to meet their age group.
Furthermore On the list
Festivals of the gods
Masquerade is the English word often use in describing masked gods. This is often not a correct description of
what they are in the real sense as they refer to the beings as higher spirits from heaven and
not just mere masked humans.
In the Yoruba pantheon, they refer to them as Ara Orun meaning people from heaven.
Among notable ‘masquerade’ festivals in the Yoruba culture is the Eyo festival-a festival unique to the people of Lagos, Nigeria.
Osun festival, in Osogbo Olojo festivals in Ife and Sango festival in Oyo are various other religious festivals
done to celebrate indigenous gods and goddesses.
Cultural Carnival festival
Carnival is always beautiful, the activities fill it with colours, music and flavours. Abuja and Calabar host two of the biggest street festival in Nigeria. Both festivals usually occur in November and December annually.
All these events are major events on the cultural calendar and each year the number of luminaries
on the performance, the list grows.
More Nigerian Festivals
Horse riding festival
Northern Nigeria has a long history of horse riding which is believe in history to have come from the trading
period between sub-Sahara Africa and far Northern Africa. Camel and horses were used as a means of transportation.
Horses are a symbol of royal-hood and the horse riding festival is celebrated throughout northern Nigeria
mostly after the Eid Mubarak celebration. From Niger to Kastina, down to Sokoto and Kano, the decoration of horses are days before the Durbar event.
Among the decoration is the horse headdress known as Kwalkwali. The decorative adornment style is beautifully on the
headpiece and worn on the horse, as a show of fashion rather than armor for protection. The biggest of the Durbar festival is usually by the Kano emirate in Kano. This festival attracts lots of tourists annually.
King’s renewal festival
Kings in many kingdoms in Nigeria are also seen as deities. The first half of December is the month for the Igue festival in the Benin kingdom.
The festival which dates back to 1000 years ago, is series of events done to renew the power of the king
who is the spiritual leader of the kingdom.
A similar festival called the Ofala festival is also done in Anambra in which several rites are done
to also renew the king.
Nigerian music is the biggest in Africa and has gone far beyond the shores of Africa to round the world. With major collaboration between Nigerian musicians and other international artists, the adoration of Nigerian music and sounds are international.
Dubbed as the Coachella of Africa, the Gidi Culture Festival is one of the biggest music festivals
which features numerous African artists.
Finally on Nigerian Festivals list
Fishing is very much synonymous with one place in Nigeria- Argungun!
With its brown sands and murky freshwaters, Argungu local government looks so good you just want to
dive right into the waters. But that’s not just it.
One of the biggest fishing festivals in Nigeria, the Argungu festival wasn’t celebrated for a long time until last year. This festival which is done in the Argungu LGA of Birnin Kebbi is dated back to 1925. Thousands of fishermen rush in with
their gourds and nets trying to outdo themselves in a fierce contest for the winning prize. This festival marks the end of the growing season.
By Taiyelolu A