Nigeria is one of the countries that showcase the most beautiful and colorful festivals. Festivals in Nigeria often attract people from all over the world.
Many Nigerians in the diaspora often come home when it is time for their festival to participate, and this clearly shows how important festivals are in Nigeria.
The importance of festivals in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized and this article on the importance of festivals in Nigeria will help you come to appreciate festivals in Nigeria more.
What Is a Festival?
A festival is the celebration of an important or memorable event by a community. This celebration is often centered mainly on some distinctive features of the community, its culture, and its religion.
Also, festivals are a way of making known a country’s rich cultural heritage as well as the traditions of diverse ethnic groups present in the country.
Festivals and carnivals often feature traditional songs, music, dances, fashion, and food, and they usually attract visitors from all over the world.
However, some festivals are organized as a means of commemoration, thanksgiving to some gods for good harvest, gift of life, or beautiful occurrences.
Most festivals in Nigeria date back to the period of pre-colonialism, when western and other religions did not exist in her ethnically and culturally diverse society.
Festivals in Nigeria bring about economic and social development as they attract people from all over the world to witness the rich cultural heritage of people in a particular community.
Festivals in Nigeria play an important role in our social lives as they unite us with our families and backgrounds.
Festivals divert people’s minds from their day-to-day, tasking, and exhausting routine life, and bring peace and happiness to their lives as they remember the important things and moments in life.
Festivals do not die with a particular generation, they are transferred from one generation to the other.
Importance of Festivals in Nigeria
Below are the importance of festivals in Nigeria.
1. Festivals Promote Culture And Heritage
Festivals are known for promoting culture and heritage and also encouraging cultural integration.
Festivals make it easier for people to understand their culture and tradition because many people do not know the culture and the tradition of their community.
During these cultural festivals in Nigeria, many stories about the happenings of the past, how the community came to be, and the names of people that contributed to the success of the community are always discussed.
Sometimes, the different gods worshiped in the community will be celebrated and worshipped, and this helps people know more about their culture as those things most times can not be expressed in books.
Festivals bring the people’s way of life and their beliefs into the limelight for the whole world to see and appreciate.
2. Festivals Boost The Economy Of Nigeria
Festivals help to boost the economy of Nigeria as they attract people from different parts of the world who would come and spend money on accommodation, food, drinks, transportation, and other important things during the festival.
At festivals, many people usually spend the money they have saved over time on many things including transportation, clothes, shoes, decorative items, food, accommodation, gift items, etc.
Most members of the community become rich during festivals because of selling their wares to a vast number of people, children are not always left out as they sell sachet water and can drinks.
The money people spend at the festival generates revenue for the local communities.
3. Festivals Create Jobs
People do many things to make money during festivals. The jobs many people engage themselves in include buying and selling, decorating, building, or innovating houses.
There is always a massive inflow of people into the community where the festival is taking place, and many people use this to their advantage.
People also use their talents and skills to make money during this time, especially, singers, dancers, writers, journalists, orators, fashion designers, instrumentalists, tour guides, swimming coaches, photographers, etc.
4. Festivals Improve The Social Life Of People
Another importance of festivals in Nigeria is that festivals improve the social life of people, they give people the opportunity to interact with people from various tribes and places.
Festivals attract visitors from all spheres of life, and these visitors always try to relate with the indigenous people to learn more about them.
Sometimes, the relationship the visitors form with the indigenous people could be of great importance to both the people and the visitors.
Also, festivals make people genuinely happy. It brings many relations together and gives them the opportunity to bond in love, peace, and harmony.
Festivals also serve as a source of entertainment, many people showcase their talents and make money and friends from them.
Festivals are the season where the elders of the community share stories and experiences about past happenings in the community and also encourage people to maintain peace and unity.
5. Festival Promotes Tourism
Festivals promote tourism in Nigeria. Many Tourists visit Nigeria only when there are festivals.
This particular act provides tourists the opportunity to interact with the indigenous people to gain a deeper knowledge about the way of life the people.
Tourism boosts the revenue of the economy, develops the infrastructure of a country, and develops a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens.
Also read: Importance of Political Parties in Nigeria
Festivals In Nigeria
There are different types of festivals celebrated in Nigeria including books, Film, Music, Cultural, etc.
These festivals are often celebrated yearly or annually and they often attract people from all over the world.
Book festivals in Nigeria include:
1. Port Harcourt Book Festival
2. Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF)
3. Kaduna Book And Art Festival (KABAFEST)
5. Nigeria International Book Fair
Film festivals in Nigeria include:
1. Africa International Film Festival
2. Eko International Film Festival
3. Lights, Camera, Africa!
4. Abuja International Film Festival
5. Kaduna International Film Festival (film)
6. African Smartphone International Film Festival (film)
Music festivals in Nigeria include:
2. Lagos International Jazz Festival
3. Rhythm Unplugged
4. Nupe Cultural Day
5. Star Mega Jam
6. Gidi Culture Festival
7. Livespot X Festival
8. Baràà Ma Jalàm Festival
9. Calabar Carnival
11. Kamti Festival
Christian festivals in Nigeria include:
1. Chrismas celebration
2. Easter Celebration
Muslim festivals in Nigeria include:
1. Eid Al Fitri
2. Eid Al Kabir
3. Kayo-Kayo Festival
Cultural festivals in Nigeria
Cultural festivals in Nigeria include:
- Omabe Festival
- Afan National FestivalThe Afro Street Festival
- Njuwa Fishing Festival
- Nwonyo Fishing Festival
- Ikeji Arondizuogu Festival
- Agila Social and Economic Carnival
- Akata Benue Fishing Festival
- Annang Festival of Art and Culture
- Argungu Fishing Festival
- Ovia-Osese Festival
- Ayet Atyap annual cultural festival
- Ariginya Festival
- Badagry Festival
- Bala Baràà ma Jalàm cultural festival
- Bauchi State Festival of Arts and Culture
- Durbar festival
- Eyo festival
- FESTAC 77
- Golibe Festival
- Kaiama Gani Festival
- Gidi Culture Festival
- Igogo Festival
- Igue Festival
- Imo Carnival
- Sharo Festival
- Imo Awka festival
- Ikeji Arondizuogu
- ijakadi Festival common to the people of offa town
- Iromo Festival in Igede Ekiti
- Lagos Black Heritage Festival
- Nupe Day Festival
- Kayo-Kayo Festival
- Ofala Festival
- Ogwashi Ukwu Carnival
- Ojude Oba festival
- Olojo Festival
- Oro Festival
- Lagos Carnival
- Unyeada fishing festival
- Osori Osos
- Oronna Festival
- Sango Festival
- Songs of Nigeria Festival (SONIFES)
- Yam Festival
- New Yam Festivals in Nigeria
- Ocho Festival
- Ogani Festival Common to the Igala people of Kogi state specifically those from the Ankpa axis
- Ito Ogbo festival
- Mmanwu Festival
- Ijele Festival
Other Festivals in Nigeria include:
- Lagos Games Festival (LGF)
- Lagos Photo Festival
- Mr. Hobby Appreciation Festival
- Potiskum Writers Association Schools Festival (POWASFEST)
- Tiger Street Food Festival