In order to celebrate and promote local tradition and culture to a larger audience, the Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, originally suggested the Calabar Carnival. Duke had a goal of making the state a tourist and hospitality centre in Nigeria and Africa.
Africa: The Birthplace of The Carnival
Many of you may not be aware that it is believed that carnivals originated in Africa. Yes, many people think that carnivals originated around 5000 years ago in Egypt and Sumeria.
Most pagan cultures across the world celebrated Carnival, and the Roman Empire even embraced it and spread it around the world. The Catholic Church accepted it once more, and the celebrations continued to grow, reaching as far as India and the Americas.
It is difficult to imagine that this widespread tradition, which is celebrated in over 52 nations, had its modest origins in Africa.
Africa’s Impact on Modern Carnival
Carnival festivities all across the world have greatly influenced by African traditions! Samba, soca, and steelpan are just some of the several carnival musical styles that have benefited from their contributions.
African slaves, who used to dress in masks, feathers, and other ornamental objects, had an impact on the vibrant, colorful costumes that you see in Brazil or the Caribbean carnivals. Even several carnival dance styles also have their roots in African traditions.
Since it first started in 2006, the Calabar Carnival is a relatively recent addition to Nigeria’s yearly festival calendar, even though it is currently called “Nigeria’s largest street party.” Every year, the month-long carnival runs from December 1 to December 31 and features a diverse schedule of activities, such as dance, music, and other cultural events. A beautiful showcase of Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity.
Reasons For the Celebration
In order to celebrate and promote local tradition and culture to a larger audience, the Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, originally suggested the Calabar Carnival. Duke had a goal of making the state a tourist and hospitality centre in Nigeria and Africa. Since then, it has also grown far more than expected and is now known as “Nigeria’s greatest street party”!
How is the Carnival observed?
The committee in charge of tourism and cultural activities creates the carnival’s schedule each year. New initiatives always added, but there is a constant emphasis on regional history and culture. Previous activities have also celebrated Nigerian culture by hosting football competitions, music concerts by regional and international musicians, the annual Calabar Carnival itself, boat regattas, fashion displays, beauty pageants, traditional dance, and even essay-writing competitions!