Independence Day – 1st October
National Independence Day, on 1st October, is the National Day of Nigeria. It marks independence from British rule on this day in 1960.
The day is celebrated by every citizen. The President delivers a speech in the morning to officially commence the celebrations, thereafter the flag is raised, and the national anthem is sung. Afterwards the military officers lead a parade.
Different organisations also organise various activities, speeches and concerts to celebrate the day. People usually dress up in the national colours to celebrate. Nigerians all over the world celebrate the day as well.
Other national days include:
Children’s Day 27th May – Schools are granted a public holiday and pupils are encouraged to participate in marches, social and cultural activities that highlight the dignity of children. Organisations organise activities to sensitize the world to some of the challenges and abuses children face daily across the globe.
New Year’s Day 1st January – The day is generally celebrated by everyone. Religious bodies organise prayers, social clubs and social organisations will also organise concerts and parties. People also usually visit family and friends.
Workers’ Day 1st May – Commemorates Workers’ labour movement internationally.
Good Friday and Easter Monday – This is a two-day Christian holiday. The Easter period is marked by Church services, parties and a trip to the beach on Easter Monday.
Democracy Day: 12th June – This day commemorates the return to Democracy in Nigeria.
Christmas Day: 25th December is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – Christians attend Church service, thereafter individuals and organisations celebrate with food, drinks and fun activities.
Boxing Day 26th December – Christian holiday
Eid al-Fitri This is a two-day Muslim holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting. Muslims congregate in a Mosque or open space to offer prayers, thereafter individuals and organisations celebrate with food, drinks and fun activities. Although it is a Muslim holiday, Muslims will usually host parties inviting neighbours and friends of all religions to celebrate with them.
Eid al-Adha This is a two-day Muslim holiday to celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice / Hajj. Muslims congregate in a Mosque or open space to offer prayers, thereafter individuals and organisations celebrate with food, drinks and fun activities. On this Eid each family has a ram slaughtered. They often share some of this meat with neighbours and friends.
Eid el Maulud Muslim holiday celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims gather to reflect on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad.