Best 15 Celebrations and Festivals in Nigeria

Nigeria, often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” is a country known for its diverse culture and rich heritage. This diversity is beautifully reflected in the numerous celebrations and festivals that take place throughout the year. From colorful carnivals to solemn religious observances, Nigeria offers a vibrant tapestry of festivities that showcase the nation’s unity in diversity. In this article, we’ll take a journey through the best celebrations and festivals in Nigeria, each offering a unique glimpse into the country’s traditions and way of life.

Eid al-Fitr (Sallah) Festivals in Nigeria

  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: March 30-31, 2024

One of the most significant religious festivals in Nigeria is Eid al-Fitr, locally known as “Sallah.” Celebrated by Muslims nationwide, this festival marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spiritual reflection. Families come together to break their fast, exchange gifts, and visit friends and relatives. The streets are adorned with colorful attire, and the atmosphere is filled with joy and unity.

Osun-Osogbo Festival

  • Location: Osogbo, Osun State
  • Date: August 11, 2024

The Osun-Osogbo Festival is a traditional Yoruba religious celebration held annually in Osogbo, Osun State. This colorful event pays homage to the river goddess Osun and features processions, dance performances, and rituals at the sacred Osun Grove. It’s a mesmerizing spectacle that attracts both locals and tourists from around the world.

Festivals in Nigeria celebration

Ojude Oba Festival

  • Location: Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State
  • Date: September 7, 2024

The Ojude Oba Festival is a grand Yoruba gathering held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. It’s a celebration of culture, tradition, and heritage where various age groups and families showcase their unique attire and cultural displays. This festival fosters unity and cultural preservation among the Yoruba people.

New Yam Festival (Iri-Ji Ohuru)

  • Location: Southeastern Nigeria
  • Date: August 5, 2024

In the southeastern part of Nigeria, the New Yam Festival is celebrated with great fervor. It’s a harvest festival that marks the beginning of the yam harvesting season. People dress in traditional attire, perform dances, and offer thanks to the gods for a bountiful harvest. It’s a time of feasting and merriment.

Lagos Carnival

  • Location: Lagos
  • Date: April 4, 2024

Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling metropolis, hosts an annual carnival that is a true spectacle. Colorful floats, costumes, and lively music fill the streets as participants from various cultural backgrounds come together to celebrate unity and diversity. It’s a modern, vibrant celebration that showcases Nigeria’s cosmopolitan nature.

Durbar Festival

  • Location: Various northern Nigerian cities, including Kano, Zaria, and Katsina
  • Date: July 31, 2024

The Durbar Festival is a magnificent display of equestrian skills and pageantry celebrated in several northern Nigerian cities, including Kano, Zaria, and Katsina. Participants, dressed in colorful regalia, ride horses and camels while showcasing their martial arts prowess. It’s a captivating cultural event that reflects the region’s rich history.

Christmas Celebrations

  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: December 25, 2024

Christmas is widely celebrated in Nigeria, not only by Christians but by people of various faiths. Urban communities and towns are embellished with Christmas lights and improvements. Families meet up for happy feasts, gift trades, and community gatherings. The joyous atmosphere during this season is infectious.

Eyo Festival

  • Location: Lagos
  • Date: May 13, 2024

The Eyo Festival, also known as the Adamu Orisha Play, is a traditional Lagos festival that dates back centuries. Participants, adorned in white robes and colorful hats, parade through the streets, singing and dancing. It’s a unique celebration that honors the spirit of the ancestors and showcases the rich history of Lagos.

Independence Day

  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: October 1, 2024

Nigeria’s Independence Day, celebrated on October 1st, marks the country’s liberation from British colonial rule in 1960. It’s a day filled with patriotic fervor, parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, and cultural displays. Nigerians come together to celebrate their nation’s sovereignty and unity.

Argungu Fishing

  • Location: Argungu, Kebbi State
  • Date: February 12-13, 2024

Located in Kebbi State, the Argungu Fishing Festival is an extraordinary event that brings fishermen from various communities to the Argungu River. They compete to catch the largest fish using traditional methods. This festival promotes both cultural heritage and communal harmony.

Igue Celebration

  • Location: Edo State
  • Date: November 26, 2024

The Igue is a traditional ceremony celebrated by the Benin people in Edo State. It involves the Oba (king) of Benin performing sacred rituals that symbolize the renewal of the kingdom’s power and prosperity. The festival showcases the deep-rooted customs of the Benin kingdom.

NAFEST (National Festival of Arts & Culture)

  • Location: Rotates annually to different states
  • Date: October 1-8, 2024

NAFEST is a cultural fiesta that promotes Nigeria’s diverse heritage. It brings together artists, craftsmen, and cultural enthusiasts from across the nation to showcase their talents. This festival fosters cultural exchange and appreciation.

Easter Celebrations

  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: April 5-8, 2024

Easter is a significant religious festival in Nigeria, marked by church services, processions, and reflections on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Families come together for special meals, and children participate in Easter egg hunts.

Iriji Mbaise

  • Location: Imo State
  • Date: August 12, 2024

The Iriji Mbaise Festival is celebrated by the Mbaise people of Imo State. It’s a Thanksgiving festival where families express gratitude for a good harvest. Traditional dances, masquerades, and feasts are part of the festivities.

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Passing Out Parade

  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: Varies by batch in 2024

The NYSC Passing Out Parade is a unique event where graduates who have completed their one-year national service gather to mark the end of their service year. It’s a blend of celebration and nostalgia as young Nigerians bid farewell to their fellow corps members.

In conclusion, Nigeria’s celebrations and festivals are a testament to the country’s rich cultural tapestry and unity in diversity. These events not only preserve tradition but also foster a sense of togetherness among Nigerians. Whether it’s a religious festival, a traditional ceremony, or a modern carnival, each celebration offers a unique glimpse into Nigeria’s vibrant heritage.


  1. What is the significance of the Osun-Osogbo ?
    The Osun-Osogbo Festival is a tribute to the river goddess Osun and signifies the Yoruba people’s deep connection to nature and spirituality.
  2. When is Eid al-Fitr (Sallah) celebrated in Nigeria?
    Eid al-Fitr, or Sallah, is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, which varies each year according to the lunar calendar.
  3. Why is the Durbar Festival celebrated with equestrian displays?
    The Durbar Festival’s equestrian displays highlight the martial traditions and historical significance of horsemanship in northern Nigerian culture.

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