The buzz about the famous Lagos Carnival

Lagos Carnival cannot be exempted in the list of major festivals in Nigeria.

LAGOS, NIGERIA – MAY 09: Dancers perform during Lagos Carnival 2015 parade in Lagos, Nigeria on May 09, 2015. The carnival was held with processions combining some elements of a circus, grand display of fabulous costumes by the participants, and public street parties at various locations where the parade took place. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

This colorful event brings ranges and styles from different dance and art groups across Nigeria and even welcoming to people outside the country across Africa and has become an anticipated cultural practice.

The Lagos carnival can be traced to the historical experience of the Brazilians who returned from their original home to settle in Lagos in the 19th century.

These Brazilians were just recovering from the aftermath and abolishment of slavery and thus needed to experience new beginning in a place where they would live more freely, as opposed to being back home in Brazil and being treated as third class citizen. Lagos was welcoming to these Brazilians and what better way to return the beautiful gesture other than contributing to the cultural heritage by introducing their culture in the community. Over time, the Lagos Carnival has become one of the prominent festivals celebrated in West Africa.

This once in a year ceremony also has its exclusive area of celebrations in the heart of Lagos itself, Lagos Island, the original settlement areas of the Brazilians with participation from groups like Olowogbowo, Okesuna, Okepopo, Campos, and others cladded in their fancy customes, marching through the streets of Lagos Island.

LAGOS, NIGERIA – APRIL 21: Traditional dance groups march and dance within Lagos Carnival in Lagos, Nigeria on 21 April 2014. This year Lagos Carnival is organized for the 5th time. Monetary award is given to the best dance group. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Distinctively, every dance group had its own unique part that makes the group special. The horse riding people of Okesuna and their horse tricks. The big belly dancer of Campos, and other uniqueness of the groups makes the carnival even more fun to watch. You just cannot get over the creativity that comes alive during the carnival. The Lagos carnival is a perfect description of cultural indoctrination and appreciation.

This is one festival that preserves culture and heritage and we hope to bring you a live coverage for this year’s edition. Given that we are at the mercy of a pandemic.

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