Five Iconic Cultural Festivals in Nigeria

Nigeria, as a nation is known for its vibrant culture and diverse traditions, that captivate both locals and visitors alike. These festivals serve as a medium for the Nigerian people, offering them the opportunity to explore the country’s rich heritage and traditions.

Here, we are going to be exploring the most iconic festivals in the Nigerian societies.


One of the most iconic cultural festivals in Nigeria is the Eyo Festival, which is celebrated originally by the Yoruba people in Lagos. Originating from the Iga (palace) of the Oba (king) or his cabinet members, the Eyo festival is a captivating display of cultural and traditional masquerades known as “Eyo.”

It started as a local tradition and has evolved into a popular cultural event that attracts participants from various tribes and even foreigners, who all eager to witness the cultural and traditional festivities.


The festival stands as a cornerstone of Nigerian cultural heritage, and is celebrated by various tribes across the nation, including the Idoma, Igbo, and Yoruba communities.

It takes place at the end of the rainy season in early August, this festival symbolizes abundance and gratitude for nature’s blessings. It serves as a unifying force among Igbo communities, that encourages a sense of appreciation and reverence for the earth’s bounty.


In the town of Ijebu, the Ojude Oba Festival holds significant cultural importance, serving as a tribute to the ruling king and a celebration of cultural values. Originating in 1892, this festival commemorates the monarch’s acceptance of foreign religions and promotes unity among diverse religious communities.


Moving to the southwestern states of Nigeria, the Egungun Festival takes center stage as a very respected tradition among the Yoruba people. It is held annually from November to April, this festival honors deceased ancestors and important personalities, due to the belief that ancestors should not endure the hardships of the rainy season.


In Igbo land, the Ofala Festival reigns supreme as a symbol of authority and legitimacy of the ruler, signifying a commitment to truth and wisdom. With its global recognition and significance, the Ofala Festival has become a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from far and wide to partake in the customs and rituals.

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