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Eid al Kabir
This Muslim festival is known as Eid al-Adha in other countries, which translates into ‘festival of sacrifice’. It occurs around late October, varying according to the Islamic calendar, on the last day of the Hajj (the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca). In Nigeria you will see this festival being celebrated in the countryside as Durbar festivals. Here the villagers come out in traditional bright colored West African costume, and congregate in parades and horsemanship competitions throughout the day. The northern states, such as Kano, are known to have the best displays.
This is a fairly new addition to the annual festival calendar of Nigeria, since it first commenced in 2006, although is held annually and is dubbed “Nigeria’s largest street party.” It is a month-long carnival from December 1 to 31 every year, and has a program of events including dancing, music, and other cultural events; something different every day.
Christmas is held on December 25 each year, and is an important festival for Christians since it celebrates the birth of Jesus. Celebrations in Nigeria have a unique twist in the southern region of Igboland, where festivities involve masquerade dancing, known as “Mmo.” These festivities predate Christianity and traditionally honor Nigerian ancestors.