There are more than 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria. Consequently, every year there are a lot of festivals and holidays in the country. Read the article to learn more information about IGBO festivals! It is so interesting!
The culture of the Igbo people is very diverse. A number of their celebrations last for weeks or even longer. They consist of colorful dances, processions, and competitions.
Igbo people preserve different folklore festivals and practically all genres of oral folk art.
Festivals in Igboland
Igbo culture is the mix of a number of traditions and customs. It consists of ancient practices and modern concepts. These customs include the visual art of Igbo people, religious beliefs, rituals of death. As well as music, dances, Igbo outfits and cuisine.
Every year, Igbo people organize Mmanwa - one of the most popular Igbo masquerade festival. Mmanwa is sponsored by the state.
One of the most popular festivals in Nigeria is the four days of Argungu. It is a fishing festival, which was first celebrated back in 1934. During the festival, hundreds of men line up along the river's banks. They are armed only with their fishing nets.
After a pistol shot, all the men fall into the muddy water and try to catch the biggest fish. State and federal government can also take part in these competitions. Every competitor has only one hour to catch the fish. BUT what makes it more interesting?! The winning contestant gets a new bus and one million Naira.
New Yam Festival is an annual cultural celebration. It is held at the end of the rainy season around early August.
New Yam Festival symbolizes the conclusion of the crop harvesting. It is known as the beginning of the next working cycle. Igbo music and dancing is an integral part of this festival.
This event is the most important in the calendar of Igbo people around the world.
There is also one other famous Nigerian celebrations -The Calabar Carnival. It is often called the "big street African holiday" and it usually takes place in Cross River State, in the South of Nigeria.
The festival was organized with the aim of transforming the State of Cross River into one of the best tourist destinations in the country. It lasts throughout December, in honour of the local culture and historical heritage.
This holiday has a lot of similarities with the carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The dancers also wear bright costumes with massive headdresses. They dance in the streets to the cheerful music. The event attracts up to two million viewers. Those, who can't visit it, watch the festival on TV in any part of the country.
Nigeria is famous for its festivals and holidays. There is a big variety of different celebrations. Nigerian people respect their culture and traditions. That's why every festival is always accompanied by music, dances, and competitions. Have you already visited any one of these Igbo festival? Try it. You'll absolutely love it!