Abuja carnival is no doubt the biggest carnival in Nigeria. It is an annual event that showcases the rich cultural values of the Nigerian nation and reflects the diversity of ethnic expressions in Nigeria. It is a city carnival that is supported by the Nigerian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and usually organized by the Carnival Roadshow Company. The carnival usually comes up in the month of Novermber and it’s one of the best cultural events in the country.
Below are some key facts to note about the Abuja Carnival show:
1. Over 35 states and 5 countries participate in the show
This may come as a surprise, but the Abuja Carnival is not an Abuja “thing” – it is celebrated by about 35 states in Nigeria with about 5 neighbouring African countries coming down to participate in the largest carnival event in Nigeria.
2. Over 2 million people attend the carnival event
The fact remains that over 2 million people attend the Abuja carnival, and over 300,000 participants entertain people to their heart’s content. There is an array of colours and costumes that can only be found in Nigeria and Africa, and that represent the ideals of the Nigerian people.
3. It features a wide range of cultural activities
The Abuja carnival is a rich blend of cultural and ethnic events to show the wealthy heritage of the people of Nigeria. It features the durbar where riders decked in traditional costumes and bearing swords act out a war performance. There is also a boat regatta, traditional music and dance, a cultural parade, and indigenous circus show among others.
4. The organization and management committee
The Abuja carnival is usually organized by the Carnival Roadshow Company, and the Abuja Carnival Management Committee as well as supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under the auspices of the federal government.
5. Exotic and bizarre entertainers
That is correct; the Abuja carnival show is one place to witness exotic and bizarre entertainers. Here you see fire-eaters, acrobats and gymnasts, magicians and jugglers, live animal handlers, and comedians and jesters among others.
6. Some organizations jettison the event
It is surprising to note that some organizations jettison attending the Abuja carnival despite the promotions and the culture it promotes. Several news organizations like the News247 shunned the event in 2014, and Leadership newspaper also chose to stay away last year. Some prominent persons and organizations regard it a show of shame, but that does not stop the show from getting larger with more sponsors every year.