Not to destination shame you, but how many states in Nigeria have you had the pleasure of visiting since you were thrust into Mama Charlie’s former colonial stomping ground?
If somehow you scaled this and have visited at least 8 of Nigeria’s 36 states, then let’s take things up a notch with how many festivals you’ve graced with your presence. (The Eat Drink Festival doesn’t count for right now btw)
For some reason, Nigerians will cross continents to don pretend hippie-garb while listening to really loud music at international festivals, or regale you with tales of that one summer at the Notting Hill festival, but ask about the Opobo Regatta Festival or last year’s Durbar and you’d probably draw a blank.
Now, das not good. Nigerian festivals are made of good enough stuff, your bucket list would be sorely lacking without an attendance of at least five of its most notable. To make sure of this, we’ll be highlighting some of Nigeria’s most well-known festivals, without which, no life adventure is complete:
Held new year’s eve every year, the Opobo Regatta is held in Bonny Island, Rivers State. Competitions are held between enthusiastic men , rowing to get the first position. Masquerades come out in full display to regal spectators and the culture of the land is put on blast. What’s not to love?
If as a Lagosian, born and bred yet to attend the Eyo Festival, then WYD babes? The festival runs for 24 days, to pay homage to the Oba of Lagos as well as marking memorable events and funeral ceremonies of notable personalities. In your defence however, this festival, owed to its precarious nature doesn’t hold annually, be sure to look out for the next one though.
Held between July and August anually, this year can finally be your chance to partake in the worship of the Osun River. The festival takes place for about two weeks and signifies the celebration and spiritual cleansing of of the land, known as Iwopopo. Look at all the happy worshippers.
Argungu Fishing Festival
someone high up in Kebbi state needs a good smack up their heads because this formerly annual festival has been on hold for a number of years. Celebrated in recognition of the unity, it is usually marked with mass fishing activities, with the hauler of the biggest fish during the festival going home with thousands of dollars as the cash prize. At its peak, it attracted visitors from all over the world, achieving critical acclaim as a lust see festival the world over. Chances are, it might be making a comeback, so keep your calendar open for February (its celebration month) next year.
Any one say Naija to the world? This festival is observed in about 40 other countries the world over, and it includes such places as Cuba, Brazil and Benin Republic. A pilgrimage of sorts, just about every Nigerian ought to make the trip to Osun-Oshogbo between July and August to have a feel for this experience honouring the warrior and third king of the Oyo Empire –Sango.
Looking to attend a festival that brings you close to your Nigerian roots, but throws in some Caribbean booty shaking to the mix? Look no further than Port Harcourt’s Carniriv Festival. Held once every year, the Carnival stands out as the state’s biggest tourism export. Looking for the best way to spend a week in December? Pencil in a trip to Port- Harcourt the second you’re done reading this.