Top 5 Annual Festivals in Nigeria
By Nkem Ndem
Italy and Brazil may be known as the flagship countries that popularized festivals all over the world, but with time, other countries and societies, including Nigeria are now rising up and boosting their local festivals so much that they now even stand a chance at competing with the later festival giants. While Festivals are not new to Nigeria, in recent time, some major festivals are now popularized so much that tourists from around the world visit the country annually for the events.
From the Eyo Festival to the different city carnivals, there is a variety of events and festivals that celebrate either religious history, music, art indigenous folklore or Nigeria’s cultural heritage, most of them featuring local music, costumes, parades, dancing, alcohol, and food. Jumia Travel presents the top 5 of these festivals that are held annually across the nation.
The most ancient and prominent festival in the northern regions of Nigeria, the Durbar festival is popular in Maiduguri, Kano, Katsina and Zaria. Originally intended to mark the advent of a war between ancient kingdoms or regarded as a form of military parade to the emirs and their councils to showcase the fighters who defended the territories, the festival is now performed and considered a ceremonial parade. The parades are filed with aesthetics, colors and it serves to reveal the loyalty of the paraders to the emir as well as reveals their strength and readiness for war. The ceremony is major part of the Id el Kabir celebrations as well as the Id el Fitri marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan and it attracts visitors and tourists year after year.
A regional festival that is unique to the city of Lagos, Eyo festival stems from ancient Yoruba history and is speculated to be the inspiration for the modern day Rio de Janeiro carnival in Brazil. The festival features a major parade with participants dressed in while flowing robes that cover their entire body, top hats and sticks; and masquerades referred to as “Eyo” as well as costumed dancers. One of the major objectives of the festival is to pay homage to the Oba of Lagos as well as. The 24-day event sweeps through the entire city with focus on the Lagos Island and attracts a large number of tourists from around the world.
A highly cultural and spiritual festival held annually in Osun State, the Osun-Oshogbo festival is held between the months of July and August and sees thousands of Osun worshippers, observers as well as tourists from all over the world who come to join in on the festivities. Celebrated at the Sacred Osun grove in honour of the river goddess, Oshun of Osun State, the event spans for two weeks. The first stage features the ‘Iwopopo’ – a traditional cleansing of the land- at the initial stage, ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun’ – the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp- three days later and finally the ‘Ibroriade’, an assemblage of the crowns of past rulers, and a committee of priestesses. While the colorful parades and parties across the city suggest light-hearted merriment, the Festival is a strong aspect of the Oshogbo culture.
Argungu Fishing Festival
With an origin traced to the visit of the late Sultan Dan Mu’azu in 1934 who was honored with an akin festival, the Argungu fishing festival has been around for quite some time. The festival, widely popular in Kebbi and Sokoto state areas, is a competitive feast that aims to weigh the fishing skills of the locals. It is usually celebrated between the months of February and March and also marks the end of a farming season. As music, drums and dance envelops the air, anxious participants try to outdo each other in a bid to gain the biggest catch. Other activities, including swimming competitions, bare-hand fishing, canoe racing and wild duck hunting serve as side attractions. At the end of the festival, the winner is hugely celebrated, there is merriment across the towns and the river is sheltered to ensure it yields fishes for the next festival.
New Yam Festival
An extremely popular festival that everyone indigenous to the south-eastern regions of Nigeria look forward to very year, The New Yam Festival is locally referred to as Iriji-Mmanwu, Iwa ji, Iri ji or Ike ji, by the Igbo speaking areas in the region. Ripe with masquerades, colorful costumes, cultural dances and displays, the event symbolizes the end of a harvest and the commencement of the next work cycle. The celebration is a highly cultural occasion and unifies the different Igbo communities together as they are essentially agrarian and dependent on yam.
Nkem Ndem is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel.
Emirates Acquires Three DA42-VI Aircraft for Flight Training Academy
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Emirates has made an order for three twin-engine DA42-VI aircraft and its corresponding flight simulator from Austria-based Diamond Aircraft Industries for the Emirates Flight Training Academy (EFTA).
This is in fulfilment of its promise of offering cutting-edge tech and state-of-the-art aircraft to train pilots of the future and help close the industry’s skills gap.
Since 2020, more than 100 cadets have successfully graduated from EFTA, creating a strong pilot recruitment pipeline for Emirates and the industry.
The AUSTRO jet-fuel-powered DA42-VI aircraft is slated to be the flagship that ushers in multi-engine piston (MEP) training at EFTA.
The delivery of the aircraft is expected to commence soon, with all three slated to be received by EFTA in the first half of 2023.
“Our new fleet from Diamond Aircraft is part of our larger strategic intent for our cadet programme. It helps us design a bridging MEP programme for cadets to gain more flying experience while progressing from a single-engine to a light jet aircraft. It strengthens our offering and makes it more unique, rounded and robust.
“Our cadets will benefit hugely as they gain experience on three different types of aircraft, even before they’re licensed. The new fleet also helps us go above and beyond in complying with the new GCAA guidelines.
“The DA42-VI is reliable, eco-friendly and a practical platform for MEP training. We’re confident we’ve made the right choice,” the Vice President of EFTA, Capt Abdulla Al Hammadi, said.
“We are thrilled that our DA42-VI is the choice for Emirates’ flight training. This, once again, solidifies the aircraft’s position as the industry-leading multi-engine piston trainer,” said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria. “With Emirates, we are adding another premier flight academy to our long list of renowned training operators and are looking forward to supporting them with the most advanced and eco-friendly aircraft available on the market today.”
The 4-seat DA42-VI is the newest version of Diamond’s technology leading light piston twin-engine aircraft. It’s the first certified general aviation piston aircraft to combine modern technology airframe, avionics, and power plants.
With its unique combination of performance and utility, the jet fuel-powered DA42-VI is designed to make transitioning from single to twin-engine much easier. The aircraft generates fuel savings of up to 50% compared to conventional AVGAS-powered twins, and its panoramic canopy provides excellent visibility during all flight manoeuvres.
Since its introduction, well over 1,100 DA42 aircraft have been delivered, outselling all other certified piston twins combined. The all-composite DA42-VI is equipped with efficient, silent, clean and reliable 168hp jet fuel AUSTRO engines AE300, Garmin G1000 NXi with 3-axis Automatic Flight Control System and optional electrically driven air conditioning.
Emirates Forward Bookings Remain Robust on Strong Customer Demand
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chief Commercial Officer of Emirates, Mr Adnan Kazim, has said the airline’s forward bookings have remained robust amid a strong customer demand, spurring the company to ramp up its operations across continents.
According to him, in the past months, the airline has planned and executed the rapid growth of its network operations, reintroducing services to five cities, launching flights to one new destination (Tel Aviv), and adding 251 weekly flights onto existing routes and continuing the roll-out of service enhancements in the air and on the ground.
It was disclosed that Emirates has continued to scale up its A380 operations with the reintroduction of the iconic double-decker across its network: Glasgow (from 26 March), Casablanca from (15 April), Beijing (from 01 May), Shanghai (from 04 June), Nice (from 1 June), Birmingham (from 1 July), Kuala Lumpur (from 01 August), and Taipei (from 01 August).
“Emirates is working hard on several fronts – to bring back operating capacity as quickly as the ecosystem can manage while also upgrading our fleet and product to ensure our customers always enjoy the best possible Emirates experience.
“So far, four of our A380 aircraft have been completely refurbished with our new cabin interiors and Premium Economy seats, and more will enter service as our $2 billion cabin and service enhancement program picks up pace,” Mr Kazim added.
He noted that in the coming months, established routes to Europe, Australia and Africa would be served with more Emirates flights, while in East Asia, more cities are seeing route restarts.
Emirates had upcoming route enhancements by regions, including in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, as well as in Africa which covers Cairo: from 25 to 28 weekly flights by 29 October; Dar es Salaam: from 5 flights a week to daily flights starting 01 May and Entebbe: from 6 flights a week to daily flights starting 01 July.
Mozambique Okays Visa Exemption for 28 Countries, Snubs Nigeria
By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
A number of African countries are focusing on promoting extensively inbound tourism. They are luring potential external investors to the tourism industry.
The latest in the southern African region is Mozambique, which has approved a visa exemption for 28 countries for tourism and business.
As the Council of Ministers approved the decree in mid-March, the exemption applies to visitors holding ordinary passports and allows for a 30-day stay, renewable to an additional 60 days.
The model adopted by the Mozambican government is similar to the United States visa waiver program in the sense that it requires travellers to register on a platform for pre-screening at least 48 hours before travelling and to pay a processing fee of MZN-650 (equivalent £8.50).
In the list released, Nigeria, which prides itself as the giant of Africa and the largest economy on the continent, was missing.
The approved countries for this programme are Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The visa exemption is a follow-up to the launch of a platform last December that allowed prospective visitors to apply for an electronic pre-authorization to travel into the country. The introduction of e-visas has seen an increase of over 30 per cent in the number of travellers entering the country compared to the same period in the previous year.
The e-visa platform commits the country to respond to applications within five days, but general feedback places an average response at 24 hours, and the few issues reported are usually created by users not uploading the required documentation.
President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, since August 2022, has taken steps containing 20 reform measures aimed at delivering to visitors and potential investors a path for a more competitive and more accessible country. Mozambique, with an approximate population of 30 million, is one of the 16-member Southern African Development Community.
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