by Rejoice Obike/November 21 08:54 AMLast updated on Calabar carnival is the biggest street party in Nigeria. This isn?t just any extravagant street party; the Calabar Carnival has metamorphosed into a yearly event that blends dexterity in colors, cultural diversity, choreography skills, musical concepts and costumes of five different bands. Without doubt, the Calabar Carnival is one of the liveliest parties in West Africa that happen in December. From dusk to dawn, over two million people fill the streets for a fun fiesta. There?s unusual vibrant energy which the dancers exhibit, as they move to the loud music. Women wander round in flamboyant costumes and men prance about in similarly colored outfits. Flashes of colors and bursts of glitters fill every corner of the street, as the bands move around. If you are there, you'd immediately realize you haven't seen anything more excitingly colorful before. How the Calabar Carnival started The Calabar carnival began in 2004. It was started by then governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, who had a vision of making Calabar a hub for tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa. The local heritage and culture of the people of Calabar have a massive influence on the way the carnival is being celebrated. The event has now become a great way to boost tourism and the local economy. The idea was to turn Cross River State into the number-one tourist destination for Nigerians, and West Africans in general. If you are looking for a great way to party in color this December, then the Calabar Carnival should be next on your list. About the 2019 Calabar Carnival The Calabar Carnival is set to hold officially on the 3rd of December, 2019, all the way to the 2nd of January, 2020. The theme for this year?s Calabar Carnival is ?Humanity?, which is aimed at promoting the idea that every human has the right to existence. The theme was selected to encourage and charge mankind not to be the source of the problem to another?s person's life. The emphasis is on the need for humans to shun war and embrace humanity. The carnival this year is going to be beyond dance and colorful displays, it will focus on passing a message that shows the importance of being human. At the heart of Carnival are the loud, in-your-face music and dance-all-day-long street parties that would start as early as 12:00 am and end exactly by 11:59 pm. There would be brass bands and vocal groups snaking their way around every block in the street, playing everything to Afro-pop to traditional beats, while the people will sing and dance along, hands up in the air. As usual, the carnival events will happen in Cross River State, precisely in Calabar. Calabar is the young, lively central city of Cross River where you will find several fun places as well as the best bars and clubs, and local chops selling Nigerian delicacies. The majority of the events will take place in the Calabar Cultural Centre and the Calabar Stadium, but the parade groups will march through many city streets in Calabar. What
to expect at the Calabar Carnival There?s a positive energetic, anything-goes vibe across the city during the Carnival period. More than one activity takes place across the city during the carnival period ? annual highlights include performances from Calabar?s five major bands, which chugs its way along the street with trumpets and other brass instruments, drawing in crowds of more than 10, 000. Each band is distinguished by different names and colors and has up to five kings and queens that are dressed in large scale costumes which interprets the Carnival?s theme. Bayside Band (Blue) The Bayside Band can be distinguished by the color blue and is led by the creator of Calabar Carnival and the former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke. The band allows membership even from foreigners. Freedom Band (Yellow) The Freedom
band can be identified by the color yellow and has always been ranked as one of
the top three bands since the inception of the Calabar carnival in 2004. Seagull Band (Red) Seagull Band is recognized by the red color. The band is the most stylish and co-ordinated band. Everything about the band relates to Nigeria and can be likened to its patriotism. They are fiercely proud to show off their roots. Passion 4 Band (Green) Passion 4 Band is also called ?the Green Band? and is actually the most successful band of all time. It has won the competition more than any other band. The band is one of the most outstanding of all. The band is also the only band that has two sections ? one for children and another for adults. Masta Blasta Band (Orange) Masta Blasta Band?s color is orange. The Masta Blasta is the largest of all bands with well over ten thousand members from all corners of the world. They are famous for their inclusivity, and how entertaining they can get. Other festivities that will take place at the 2019 Calabar Carnival There are other highlights of the carnival apart from the band parades. The events actually follow a sequence. There are four characteristic parts: a. The millennium week b. The sports week c. The TINAPA Family Festival d. The carnival week. The main carnival events occur in the last two weeks of the carnival. In the first three weeks of the carnival, there are musical performances, food competitions, a solidarity march, street parties, fashion shows, a prestigious essay writing competition, art shows, traditional dances and masque events to keep the festivity alive. Other side attractions to the festival include the Annual Ekpe Masquerade Festival, enormous illuminated UFO floats spinning around and followed by troupe of cultural dancers, performances by J?ouvert Band fetes, the crowning of the Carnival Kings and Queens for each band, the Christmas Party Cultural Carnival, the children?s carnival, and the Mary Slessor Golf Charity Dinner, etc. Calabar Carnival Sports Week The Calabar Carnival sports week would happen within the second week of the carnival. There would be a soccer tournament for competitors to win the Carni-Cal Cup during the carnival. Other sporting events include a golf tournament, a boat regatta, and various other sporting events. Calabar Carnival live music performances 2Face Idibia There is no celebration without music. Many musical concerts would happen throughout carnival, featuring performances by local and international acts including Fat Joe, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, 2 Face Idibia and the former P-Square brothers. Other local Nigerian artists you probably haven?t heard of would be given an opportunity to perform too. Calabar Carnival African Food Expo Afang soup, a Calabar Delicacy The Calabar Carnival African Food Expo is an absolute highlight of the carnival. There would be many amazing meals you can enjoy and most likely would be something you've never had before. The air would be filled with so many intoxicating aromas and you won?t be short on options. Calabar Carnival Christmas Since the Calabar Carnival takes place during the month of December, a lot of Christmas festivities get infused in the carnival activities. Carnival Week is the final week of Calabar Carnival and this is when most of the highlights take place. This is the week that draws the most tourists. Some of the more popular events include: 27th December: The Bikers parade occurs in the
morning 27th December: Miss Africa beauty pageant occurs
in the eventing 28th December: Calabar Street Parade & Band
of the Year Competition 29th December: Wonders on Wheels occurs in the
evening in Calabar Stadium and displays vintage cars 30th December: Green Carnival occurs in the morning and displays actions favorable for the environment. The event culminates in a street party held in the evening. 31st December: New Year?s Eve Fire Works display. The Calabar Carnival Parade The carnival is more than just a big street party. The carnival is about displaying the best of Africa?s culture and heritage. Every year, the theme guides all the carnival bands who have to interpret and then represent it through their costumes, music, dances, floats, and displays. The Calabar Carnival Parade features up to 50,000 costumed revelers who perform in five major carnival bands and 10 non-competing bands. The carnival groups compete against each other to win the ?Best Band? title. The parade takes place over a 12km parade route. There is color, sparkle, DJs, live musicians, steel bands, incredible floats and costumes. As all these go on, hundreds of thousands spectators line up the streets to watch the parade and the electrifying atmosphere. The Carnival Parade terminates at the UJ Esuene Stadium and is followed by the award ceremony for the ?Band of the Year?. At the stadium, expert judges hand out various awards for categories in costumes, music, floats, choreography and the title for the prestigious ?Band of the Year?. Other things not to miss while in Calabar this December It?s not just the carnival that gives Calabar its appeal. Of course there are many other attractions the city has to offer. If you can take a moment away from the parties, there are plenty more to see. Kwa Falls: Kwa falls Kwa falls is a spectacular waterfall located in a narrow, steep gorge on the headwaters of the Kwa River. It has an inviting gorgeous beach at the edge of the pool which it flows into. Somewhere, you can have a picnic, while watching the sparkling waterfall. Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort: Tinapa Leisure and Business Resort was created to give tourists an ideal vacation. It is located by the Calabar River. The facility offers many forms of exciting entertainment. To read more about Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort visit this link Cross River National Park: The Cross River National park is an eco-tourism destination. It is one of the most preserved tropical rainforests in West Africa. For the adventurous, while here, you can watch rare birds and animals in their natural tropical rainforest habitat. Find out more about Cross River National Park here Obudu Mountain Resort: The Obudu Mountain Resort is a popular tourist destination located in the highlands of Cross River State. The Obudu Mountain resort has a serene and picturesque environment worth visiting. Here is everything you need to know about Obudu Mountain Resort Agbokim Waterfalls: The Agbokim Waterfalls has seven streams and each cascades over a steep cliff. It is a quiet spot recommended for an afternoon relaxation away from the city?s partying moments. People are also reading: https://hotels.ng/guides/activities/traveling-to-ghana-for-afro-nation-on-a-budget/ https://hotels.ng/guides/activities/a-guide-to-christmas-shopping-in-nigeria/ https://hotels.ng/guides/activities/how-not-to-have-a-bad-christmas-in-nigeria/
by trust/October 11 09:17 AMLast updated on So, I don?t know if you have noticed that the festive season is just around the corner! Well, just in case you haven't, not to worry, you have ample time to plan a splendid holiday. One of the few places on the shores of Nigeria that always comes up in discussions about holidays and fun-filled vacations is Calabar. Owing mostly to the infamous Calabar Carnival, the city has succeeded in attracting visitors from not just all over the country, but also from different parts of the world. The festive season is almost upon us and with it comes the opportunity to make up for all the time lost in the year. What better way to spend it than in Africa's largest street party? That?s why we?ve decided to help you compile a list of exciting things you could do in a week that will make this festive holiday the most memorable one you?ve had until now.?Here are some fun ideas on where to visit and what to do while in Calabar this Christmas (P.S. Number 5 will amuse you) 1. Take A Trip To Tinapa Resort You immediately get the feeling of paradise,? as you pass through the gates of Tinapa Resorts. From the different exhilarating fun facilities available for leisure to the retail and wholesale shops and warehouses available for business on both a small and large scale, Tinapa excitingly integrates business and leisure into one giant wonder-town! Most times you might be looking to go on a vacation and not have to visit several places just so you can have fun and also shop for quality products. Well, Tinapa resorts save you the time and money by bringing all your needs and?interests to one big location. Planted in a serene environment close to the Calabar river, the resort is a little country of everything awesome. This is the ideal place to buy duty-free goods and supplies. With a luxury hotel, cinema, water-themed park and state of the art movie studio, Tinapa Resort is a Tourist's dream. 2. Visit The Drill Rehabilitation Center This wildlife sanctuary was built by Lisa Gadsby and Peter Jenkins in 1991 to preserve the already endangered African primate; Drills. Drill Rehabilitation Center/ Drill Ranch is located at Drill Ranch, Calabar. After recording over 250 births, the Drill Rehabilitation Center is the most successful captive breeding of an endangered primate in the world. It serves to rehabilitate drills with members of their species and also provides a safe haven for orphaned chimpanzees. The Drill ranch and rehabilitation centre is a wildlife sanctuary that hopes to preserve and ensure continuity of the endangered primate species drills. So if you?re a sucker for animals, then this place is the perfect balance between an outright zoo and a chill spot. You can eat, play and even take selfies with the animals! 3. Bask In The Splendor Of Tortuga Island Located in the Calabar Marina Resort, this amazing location allows you enjoy a special ?sit-out? experience in any of the three plantation style bars. Situated in beautifully landscaped gardens, these colonially inspired theme bars offer panoramic views of the river. From the first class cocktails to the jungle-style barbecued meat, and the inviting jungle terrain adventure, Tortuga will ignite your curiosity. While you?re there, I suggest you be on the lookout though, Jack Sparrow could just be running around! 4. Join The Carnival Parade The carnival starts on the 1st of December and lasts until the 31st, providing enough time for visitors and millions of spectators to explore the city. From the outskirts of the city, down its remote parts, and straight through the very heart of the state, the Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. Termed the biggest street party in Africa this century, the state-wide carnival has successfully become a unique event where people from all over the country and beyond go to have crazy fun and experience amazing hospitality. The carnival features; Musical performances by different artists (both homegrown and foreign-based artistes); Different musical and dance displays by professional dance crews and local traditional dancers; Witness the traditional Ekpe carnival that holds in the state around the same time Different types of fanfare events go on throughout the month; ranging from Boat regatta, Trend shows, Christmas town, Traditional promenades. The cr?me de la cr?me of society as they party and dance through the streets. Cash prizes and other rewards are awarded to different categories which include: best dressed, best dancers, and so on. 5. Experience The 404 Now by ?404?, I am in no way referring to the Peugeot vehicle. This one is pretty much edible. I?m referring to nothing other than Dog-meat. This is a delicacy that is infamous among the Efik people and other tribes across Cross River. Don?t squeeze your face just yet. This remarkable dish ? ?404?, ?J5?, ?Pepperoni? ? is practically a way of life in the state. Apart from being a very delicious delicacy that goes down well with plantain or rice, (just before you say the grace with a glass of beer), 404 is said to have medicinal and nutritional values. The people say that dog-meat is used to drive away evil spirits (an age-long tradition). And the bones used in a certain mixture can help a child learning to walk. Either way, your journey to the city might just not be verified without having a bowl of ?404? soup! 6.?Where to Stay During The Calabar Carnival In the spirit of festivities, it's only fair and right that everyone - including you - should have a Christmas present! This is why some hotels in the city of Calabar are offering some very juicy discount deals to help you have a befitting holiday! Isn't that awesome? Now I'm going to give you a sneak-peek at the discount entourage. Some of the hotels offering amazing deals are;?Transcorp Hotels,?Monty Suites,?Channel View Hotels,?Francris Suite Limited. Want to see more killer deals? Head over to the hotels.ng page on Discount Hotels in Calabar?and thank me later! People who viewed this also liked... Calabar Carnival: Africa's Largest Street Party ?Ever heard of a party so lit it involved the whole town?! Well, now you have! From the outskirts of the city, down its remote parts, and straight through the very heart of the state, the Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. 11 of the Biggest Cultural Festivals in Nigeria We bring you a compiled list of the biggest and fiercest cultural festivals across all the states in Nigeria. From the Eyo festival to the Arugungu fish festival, and lots more. Akwa Ibom @ 30! Nearly 27 years after Nigeria gained her independence, under the rule of Gen Ibrahim Babangida, Akwa Ibom state was formed. It was a great day in the people?s history as it brought to an end, their years of struggle for what was tend known as Mainland-Cross River. This year, as Akwa Ibom turns 30 and we bring you the glitz and glamour of the state.
by Princess/September 14 11:23 AMLast updated on Nearly 27 years after Nigeria gained her independence, under the rule of Gen Ibrahim Babangida, Akwa Ibom state was formed. It was a great day in the people's history as it brought to an end, their years of struggle for what was tend known as Mainland-Cross River. This year, as Akwa Ibom turns 30, the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Culture and Tourism is saving no expense to ensure?that milestone is celebrated with a bang. The Orange September festival in Uyo, from the 17th to 23rd of September, it?will be six whole days of immeasurable fun. Promising literal a burst of colour and culture. Before you head out to paint Akwa Ibom orange, here are a few ways you can enjoy the week. 1. Go Orange Yes, you can literally paint the town and yourself orange, in honour of this 30th anniversary. The picture above is not photoshopped and if you are so inclined, you can do that too. However, if becoming a 3D mural isn't really your thing, you can still join the fun with a little less effort. The Colour Me orange app is available on the official Orange September website, here. All you have to do is upload your picture and you can be orange too. 2. Enjoy The Carnival, Join the Parade On the 17th September,? there will be a cultural festival?holding at Ibom Unity Park. The festival will be showcasing Akwa Ibom culture to its fullest. Complete with music, cultural dancers, floats and much more. Though you might not be a part of any official parade group, you can still dress up in your orange September colours and gyrate to the authentic Akwa Ibom beats. 3. Get in Touch With The Artist in You On the 18th September,? you can enjoy the unique Dise? Photo Exhibition??Ibibio Union Museum.? The?photo exhibition will showcase Akwa Ibom people, culture and beauty. 4. Eat, Eat and Eat Some More Join the Ndidi Nnanyi food fest on the 19th September at Ibom Unity Park.?There you will find a marvellous display of over 200 different dishes from Akwa Ibom and the world over. 5. Put on Your Dancing Shoes On the 20th September, the Ibom Music Festival?at?Ibom Hall, IBB Way. Enjoy artists like Tekno, Timaya, Flavour, Mc Galaxy, Pasto Goody Goody, Da Suspekt, Nathaniel Bassey and many others to thrill you with sounds from Akwa Ibom and the world over. 6.?Enjoy the Fashion Show With 15 designers showcasing contemporary and traditional Awka Ibom style, the? 21st of? September promises a? Fashion Show like none other. The venue is??Le Meridien?and the time is 6:00 pm. You wouldn't want to miss it. 7. Watch Beauty at its Best Many people know that the ladies of Akwa Ibom are beautiful without compare. Now imagine a stage full of 31 of the most beautiful contestants vying for the Ndoko Awka Ibom (Miss Akwa Ibom) crown. This is exactly what will be happening on the 22nd September at Le?Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort. Watch as the winner gains the rare honour of being the cultural ambassador of Akwa Ibom State, makes off with a brand new car and more. 8. Only the Best Room is Good Enough For You If you are coming from out of town and you want to enjoy Orange September to it's fullest there are some cheap hotels in Uyo you can stay in. Some of them are?Davok Suites, Monty Suites?and?Le Meridien Ibom Hotel People who viewed this also liked... Calabar Carnival: Africa's Largest Street Party ?Ever heard of a party so lit it involved the whole town?! Well, now you have! From the outskirts of the city, down its remote parts, and straight through the very heart of the state, the Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. How to Get the Best Out of This Year's Calabar Carnival One of the few places in Nigeria that always comes up in discussions about holidays and fun-filled vacations is Calabar. Owing mostly to the infamous Calabar Carnival, therefore, we bring you all the glitz and glamour of the Calabar carnival. 11 of the Biggest Cultural Festivals in Nigeria We bring you a compiled list of the biggest and fiercest cultural festivals across all the states in Nigeria. From the Eyo festival to the Arugungu fish festival, and lots more.
by trust/August 31 07:04 AMLast updated on 1. Eyo Festival
Representing a unique and proud part of the Yoruba community. It is only fitting that the Eyo Festival be dedicated to the indigenes of Lagos. The indigenes also known as ?Isale Eko?, celebrate ?Eyo?, a cultural and traditional masquerade display, which emerges from the Iga (palace) of the Oba or any of his cabinet members. The ceremony/festival has overtime garnered fame and thus in modern times also serves as a tourist attraction for people all over the world. There are, however, a couple of important facts you should know about the festival. 2. Argungu Fishing Festival
While rumoured to have started in 1934, it is argued that this was rather when the festival was exposed to the country and International community. Argungu festival begun as four different religious rites serving as a communal affair prior to the time of Surame Gungu of Kebbi Kingdom. Argungu festival presents an opportunity for the different tribes in the north to unite and compete healthily for fun. 3. Calabar Carnival
Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. Termed the biggest street party in Africa this century, the state-wide carnival has successfully become a unique event where people from all over the country and beyond go to have crazy fun and experience amazing hospitality. The Calabar Carnival has put Cross Rivers State in the frontline of the country?s tourism export package. The carnival has so far served, not only as an avenue for relaxation and funfare, but also to amplify more facets of localized heritage and culture, at the same time strengthening the capability of the local people to take part in an economically beneficial way. 4. Ojude Oba Festival
It all began in 1892, when Oba Adesumbo Tunwase, who signed the treaty of relationship with the British Queen, gave land to the Muslims to establish their Central Mosque. At the same time, he agreed with the British missionaries to preach Christianity in Ijebu Land and even went further to allow some of his children to be baptized. To cap it all, he gave the land on which the first church in Ijebu Land was built; St Saviours Italupe. The Muslims started the Ojude Oba Festival, which when translated means ?Festival in the King?s Court?, using it as an occasion to pay homage and give their appreciation to the reigning Monarch for his benevolence towards them. 5. Osun Festival
Every August, lots of people from around the world throng to Osun State, Nigeria. Attending and participating in the famous, two-week long Osun-Osogbo Festival. It is held at the illustrious and sacred Osun Grove. The Osun-Osogbo festival, without a doubt, is more than just sacrifices performed to celebrate the Osun River goddess. There are several activities planned around the festival, as tourists and visitors all come to witness, interact and partake in the two-week long celebration. 6. New Yam Festival
The New Yam Festival (Orureshi in the idoma area, Iwa ji, Iri ji or Ike ji, depending on the dialect) is an annual cultural festival by the Igbo people. Held at the end of the rainy season in early August. Observed mostly by the people of the Middle belt, South and East of Nigeria. It symbolises the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle. In Igbo land, it ties the Igbo communities together.The harvest symbolises the abundance of produce. However, rituals are performed to express gratitude to the gods of the community for making the harvest possible. 7. Ofala Festival
The historical Ofala Festival in Igboland is usually celebrated towards the end of every conventional year as an event that marks the end of the 13th month in Igbo calendar and the beginning of another Igbo year (Igu Aro).
The festival is also celebrated as a sign of authority and legitimacy bestowed on the traditional ruler in the land to guide the people on the path of truth and wisdom. Hence, it is titled Ofo (Authority) Ala (Land). Today, the age-long social tradition has gained global recognition, therefore, it has become a major tourist attraction in Igboland. Ofala festival, which is celebrated as a way to keep the heritage of Igboland alive, is also an occasion for the traditional ruler to honour deserving individuals with chieftaincy titles. 8. CarniRiv
From cultural displays to an international Aquatic Fiesta, Street Parties, Heritage Parades, Praise Jam, a Beauty Pageant and a whole lot more, CarniRiv takes its place at the helm of carnival affairs. Held in Port Harcourt, the Carnival starts a few weeks before Christmas and lasts for seven days. During this time several ceremonial events are held, most of which hold some cultural and or sacred significance. CarniRiv bears a certain uniqueness as it combines two carnivals - a purely cultural carnival and a contemporary Caribbean style carnival- in one. It also features musical performances from both local and international artists. This gives it an edge over all other regional and continental carnivals and presents it with the principal advantage which must be consummately exploited. 9. Egungun Festival
Egungun refers to all Yoruba masquerades or masked figures that are connected to the ancestors as a collective force. The Egungun festival is a part of the Yoruba traditional religion.It is performed to mark the death of important personalities, the festival is common among the Egbas, Egbados, Oyo and other parts of southwestern Nigeria. The festival is usually an annual celebration performed within the months of November to April when there is no rain, with the belief that their ancestor should not have to suffer in the rain. Elaborate costumes adorn the Egungun masqueraders (dancers), and through drumming and dance, these dancers become possessed with the spirits of the ancestors. The Egungun then spiritually clean the community and through exaggerated acting/miming demonstrate both ethical and amoral behaviour that occurred since their last visit, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of a community with hopes of encouraging behaviour more befitting of their descendants. 10. Durbar Festival Hawan Sallah or Hawan Daushe as it is locally called is a royal parade of thousands of men on horses adorned with garments and regalia. It is a colourful display of culture full of pomp and pageantry. A spectacular traditional concert of and bazaar of African music. It is celebrated at the culmination of Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It begins with prayers, followed by a parade of the Emir and his entourage of horses, accompanied by music players, and ending at the Emir's palace. The festival is full of colourful processions led by the Emir and it features a competition between the Royal Calvary, drummers, trumpeters, praise singers and wrestlers, making it a widely viewed event in Northern Nigeria. The festival also showcases the full procession of villagers as they gather at the public square or in front of the Emir?s palace where the final parade holds.
11. Lagos Carnival Held during the Black Heritage Festival, Lagos Carnival has been held for over a century and is a celebration of the city's ancestry and the plurality of its identity. Street carnivals were first held by slave returnees and their descendants from Brazil, Cuba, Sierra Leone and Liberia, who brought with them a vibrant culture that still exists today. One of such culture has morphed into the pulsating and exciting Lagos Carnival! Usually centred on the Lagos Island, the event is filled with troop displays of beautiful costumes and various forms of entertainment including music and dancing. People are also interested in...
Top Tourist attraction in Nigeria
The ability to attract worldwide attention transcends setting up a physical edifice but also embodies structures or places of natural and physical value. Historical significance and outstanding beauty capable of awing and amusing the public. The physical evidence of genius architectural designs and brain work, coupled with the mysterious dynamism of natural ingenuity have made these places stand out as constant tourist destinations in Nigeria.
Top Romantic-weekend getaway in Nigeria
Nigeria has a lot of captivating and romantic destinations that could have you on cloud 9. So if you're looking forward to escaping from the topsy-turvy of the City, in search of a romantic weekend with a difference then you have a variety to pick from.
by trust/August 22 11:39 AMLast updated on ?Ever heard of a party so lit it involved the whole town?! Well, now you have! From the outskirts of the city, down its remote parts, and straight through the very heart of the state, the Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. Termed the biggest street party in Africa this century, the state-wide carnival has successfully become a unique event where people from all over the country and beyond go to have crazy fun and experience amazing hospitality. The Calabar Carnival has put Cross Rivers State in the frontline of the country?s tourism export package. From the resplendent costumes to the dazzling dance moves, from the intoxicating musical atmosphere to the large array of funfare, not in any way forgetting the irresistible warmness of the local people, the Calabar Carnival will guarantee you end your year in style! A Brief History? The Carnival has come a long way. Beginning in 2004, when the then governor of Cross Rivers; Mr Donald Duke, had a vision of making his state the focal point for tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, the month-long carnival has grown to become a phenomenal force to be reckoned with gathering repute both internally and externally and presenting a perfect stage from emblem visibility for buyer and market awareness. The carnival has so far served, not only as an avenue for relaxation and fun, but also to amplify more facets of localized heritage and culture, at the same time strengthening the capability of the local people to take part in an economically beneficial way. Tradition of the Carnival The carnival starts on the 1st of December and lasts until the 31st, providing enough time for visitors and millions of spectators to explore the city. Events at the carnival are drafted each year by the committee in charge of tourism and cultural undertakings while encouraging and allowing room for new initiatives to be presented every year. In December 2009, Carnival Committee organized "Carnival Cup 2009", a football competition amidst the five competing carnival musicians - Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Bayside and Freedom. Other amazing events and activities are always invented and improved to make the experience a more wholesome one. Top Attractions Some of the main features of the Calabar Carnival include; The opening ceremony where the Governor of the state reads out the carnival speech and unveils the theme. Parades by different teams and groups dressed in dazzling colour combinations Musical performances by different artists; both homegrown and foreign-based artistes. Different musical and dance displays by professional dance crews and local traditional dancers. Witness the traditional Ekpe carnival that holds in the state around the same time Different types of fanfare events go on throughout the month; ranging from Boat regatta, Trend shows, Christmas town, Traditional promenades. Catch a glimpse of the cr?me de la cr?me of society as they party and dance through the streets. Cash prizes and other rewards are awarded to different categories which include: best dressed, best dancers, and so on. Significance of the Carnival The significance of the Calabar Carnival cannot be over-emphasized. However, there are some key points worth noting. The carnival has helped to increase stakeholder interest in the state while luring more investors to the state. It serves as an avenue for indigenes and foreigners alike to relax and have fun after the hustle and bustle of the year. The carnival has quadrupled the state?s revenue income while placing it in the forefront of tourism for the country. Future new projects like an Essay writing competition and its kind which will engage both lesser school and tertiary students. Aimed at resuscitating the reading heritage amidst the youths of the State as well as inculcating the carnival culture. There is a huge atmosphere of friendship and hospitality formed in the state during the carnival period. This considerably reduces the level of crime in the state. People are also interested in... Argungu Fishing Festival The Argungu festival is a major cultural event in the northern part of Nigeria and the country as a whole. Featuring a whole lot of events and activities, most of which involve the river. Argungu festival presents an opportunity for the different tribes in the north to unite and compete healthily for fun. Eyo Festival? Representing a unique and proud part of the Yoruba community, it is only fitting that the Eyo Festival be dedicated to the indigenes of Lagos.?The ceremony/festival has overtime garnered fame and thus in modern times also serves as a tourist attraction for people all over the world. Ojude Oba festival Celebrated by the people of Ijebu Ode,?Right from the Ijebu-Ode Flyover on the Lagos-Benin Expressway, you can feel the excitement in the air.? Both locals and visitors, all dressed in colourful outfits, make their way to the palace of HRM. The Awujale of the Ijebu Kingdom, which is the traditional arena for the yearly celebration (Ojude Oba).
by trust/August 18 02:23 PMLast updated on ?Right from the Ijebu-Ode Flyover on the Lagos-Benin Expressway, you can feel the excitement in the air.? Both locals and visitors, all dressed in colourful outfits, make their way to the palace of HRM. The Awujale of the Ijebu Kingdom, which is the traditional arena for the yearly celebration (Ojude Oba). Except for few traders, particularly those from the southeastern part of the country, who have opened for business, the town has literally shut down. All hotels in the vicinity have been fully booked. One can site different companies and marketers with their erected stands in and around the traditional arena for the yearly celebration. The locals are making brisk money selling food items, drinks and branded souvenirs to tourists. And the people of IJebu-Ode, who are known of course, for their insatiable love for parties, are ready to party like never before. It?s the Ojude Oba Festival, and it's about to begin! A Brief History? It all began in 1892, when Oba Adesumbo Tunwase, who signed the treaty of relationship with the British Queen, gave land to the Muslims to establish their Central Mosque. At the same time, he agreed with the British missionaries to preach Christianity in Ijebu Land. He also went further to allow some of his children to be baptized. To cap it all, he gave the land on which the first church in Ijebu Land was built; St Saviours Italupe. The Muslims started the Ojude Oba Festival, which when translated means ?Festival in the King?s Court?. Using it as an occasion to pay homage. Appreciating the reigning Monarch for his benevolence towards them. The Tradition At the main arena, different Age Grades seat in groups, observing proceedings at the high table. Dressed in flamboyant outfits that distinguish each group from another, they create a colourful ambience, with extreme pomp and pageantry. Amidst heavy singing, dancing and drumming, each Age Grade (Regberegbe) takes turns to pay homage to the paramount ruler of Ijebu-land, by presenting him with different foodstuff and other items. Both men and women belonging to different Regberegbe also display their dancing prowess. Notable dignitaries and invited guests seat on the centre stage, flanking the Oba and his family on either side. 'Regberegbe' As the people of Ijebu Land progressed and evolved as a thriving community, they came up with a classification method where every indigene was grouped according to their ages. These age-groups - Regberegbes - were classed in 3-year brackets with assigned names, respectively. It is reported that the current Awujale, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, is of the Egbe Mafowoku age-group (1932-1934). One of the more recent age-group commissioned is the Egbe Maiyegun Akile Ijebu, comprising people born between 1974 and 1976. These age-groups all have a link to the throne and go all the way back in time to the first age-groups that were ever commissioned. The Festival Ojude Oba Festival holds annually, typically three days after the start of Eid-el-Kabir.?Usually, two days before the Ojude-Oba festival is for Muslims to mark the Eid with their families, friends, and well-wishers. Then, on the third day, Christians, dignitaries, tourists and visitors join them at the Awujale?s Palace. Witnessing the glamour of the festival, which aims at celebrating the rich culture and heritage of the people of Ijebu-Ode. They celebrate via resplendent traditional attires, deft hairstyles, cuisine (ifokore) and the reenactment of rare cultural dances and spectacular horsemanship that reminds one of Durbar Festival up north. Top Attractions Some of the main features of the Ojude Oba Festival include; Each family goes as a group dressed in colourful attires before the Oba to receive the royal blessing. Most of the families, especially the warrior families, parade on beautifully dressed horses, exhibiting their horsemanship to thrill the spectators. Different musical and dance displays from the respective regberegbe groups before the Oba. Gunshots are fired intermittently when a warrior family and its entourage dance along the arena. Different types of fanfare events going on around the festival arena. Cash prizes and other rewards are given to the best-dressed regberegbe and horse-riding family. Significance of the Festival The Ojude Oba festival starts on the third day of Eid-el-Kabir. It has a long-lasting history of bringing together all the sons and daughters of Ijebuland once every year. The festival affords people of Ijebu and their well-wishers a chance to pay homage to their traditional rulers and give honour to the symbol of Ijebu tradition. Hence, not only does the festival stand as a unifying factor and a tourist attraction, but it also goes a long way to amplify and showcase the rich cultural heritage that the country possesses. From a small gathering of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion, today the Ojude Oba festival has become an all-encompassing showpiece, transcending religious lines and attracting people of all faiths, as well as tourists from within and outside the country. It goes without saying that the Ojude Oba Festival is a ?clear reminder that indeed, culture commands respect. People who viewed this also liked... 11 of the Biggest Cultural Festivals in Nigeria We bring you a compiled list of the biggest and fiercest cultural festivals across all the states in Nigeria. From the Eyo festival to the Arugungu fish festival, and lots more. 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