There are lots of carnivals that take place in Nigeria, but there are a few that surpass human expectations, create a wide space of beautiful imagination, engrave the right symbols of culture, protect traditional norms and customs. These are annual events that depict Nigeria’s strong cultural heritage and diverse arts. Here are the top five carnivals in Nigeria in no particular order;
This is unarguably Africa’s biggest and most popular street Carnival that started in 2004 in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. It is one of the most intricate and well ordered street carnival processions in the world, boasting about 50, 000 costumed participants and more than 50, 000 tourists from around the world. It’s a celebration that displays the beautiful cultural heritage of the inhabitants of Cross River State and in diaspora, bringing in modern and ancient customs coupled with jaw dropping costume displays. Security is also guaranteed as there are para-military officials at different locations.
Another exciting carnival, Carniriv, it is officially the Garden City Carnival which takes place annually at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. This week-long carnival offers a wide variety of cultural festivities, stunning costumes, and amazing musical presentations, not leaving out a strong presence of security personnel to ensure security is at its very best.
The Center of Excellence cannot be left out in any rave that occurs in any other part of the country and that includes breathtaking carnival processions and attractive traditional and cultural exhibitions. The Lagos Carnival which holds during Easter is fun to behold as people from different works of life, owing to the diverse number of people, culture, tribes and Nationalities in Lagos, come together to exhibit the unique essence of their individual tribes. It’s also an avenue to meet people, interact and build new and fulfilling relationships.
Delta State is home to one of Nigeria’s oldest and most colorful Carnival, the Ogwashi-Uku carnival. It is a three-day carnival proceeding that takes place every December. It features cultural dance displays, a quiz competition, a football contest, talent hunt (music, dance and comedy), beauty pageants,a road procession and many intriguing others.
There are so many other things unique to the Ogwashi-Uku Carnival like masquerade performances, music night and an exotic carnival dinner night to end the event in grand style.
Ojude Oba Carnival
And finally, we visit Ijebu Ode in Ogun State, South Western Nigeria which is native to the popular and ancient Ojude Oba Carnival. The Ojude Oba celebration is a series of festivities that displays the rich cultural heritage of indigenes of Ijebu Ode. It celebrates an ancient tale of culture, tradition, history, religion and royal triumph of the Awujale of Ijebu land, the Monarch of the Ijebu Kingdom. Ojude Oba which translates to “the King’s fore-court or frontage”, offers a vast proportion of cultural parades, song recitations, dance routines, and an equestrian procession.
Whatever fears you might have, possibly as regards security should be erased as this carnival offers maximum security.
So here you go, the top five carnivals in Nigeria showcasing her rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of belonging to traditional, customary and ancient values coupled with a modern mix of intelligence, organization and creativity. Do not miss them for anything as you’ll be missing an experience you do not want people to tell you about.