Tuesday 3 January 2012


Like the popular Brazilian and Trinidad and Tobago carnivals the Calabar carnival in Nigeria has become a recognized festival within and outside the shore of Africa.  Calabar where this festival originated from has some pedigree in Nigeria history as the first ever capital of Nigeria but presently the capital city of Cross River State with a population of 371,022 at the 2006 census. On the other hand the Calabar Festival which originated in the year 2000 as a street parade was mainly to showcase the resources of the State and there were no special costumes then. However, in 2004 the carnival took a different form with the introduction of costumes and other activities such as the music by various famous Nigerian and International artists. This carnival is a now a tourism source for River State attracting people from different areas around the world while also booming the economy of this State. The only festival that is close to this in Nigeria is the Eyo festival which is celebrated by Lagosians and Osun Festival celebrated by the Osun people.
The beauty of this festival is the happiness on the faces of the people celebrating it. During this occasion, cultural and language diversities become one without a trace of differentiation. Even if you are mathematics guru you cannot use calculus to differentiate the differences among the people celebrating this festival as they were bonded with love.
Unlike the EYO festival in Lasgidi (Lagos) where one particular color is the official color of the occasion, the Calabar Festival can be synonymous to Rainbow. If one is color blind, he/she needs no other miracle to see different colors paraded during this festival. All around you, you will be surrounded with different types of colors even those you can't even identify or name. The festival is so colorful and of highest fashion phenomenon. The 2011 festival was a whole month festive activities with the appearances of guest artists like Cool and the Gang, Sean Kingston, 2Face, Darey, Asa, Yemi Sax, J-Martins, Eldee, Naeto C, Rick Ross, Banky W, Whizkid, P Square, Gyptian, D’Prince, Wande Coal, D’Banj and host of others.
Below are the clips from the most celebrated festival in 2011.


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