Nigeria a country filled with hard working individuals and sometimes they just need a holiday. A country said to have the most public holidays, public holidays in Nigeria are national treasures. This is because most times the citizens forget they exist until the day comes. In Nigeria, if a public holiday falls on a weekend the holiday is observed on Monday. At times an extra day is given in terms of Muslim holidays and Christmas. At the start of the year, some people take the liberty to mark their calendars, so they never miss a day, amazing. Missing a day is almost impossible because some holiday dates vary yearly. Below are public holidays observed in Nigeria, read up, and your boss or school cannot play a fast one on you.
New Year’s Day (January 1)
Everything has a beginning and an end. Some restart and some don’t. there are 7 days in a week, 4 weeks in a month, and 12 months in a year. At the end of these cycles, a new one begins. The New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the new year. In Nigeria and the new year is celebrated with a public holiday.
Good Friday has no definite date of commemoration because it varies yearly. The sole purpose of Good Friday is to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The Good Friday precedes the Easter Sunday many denominations of the Christian church mark this day with fasting and prayers. In Nigeria, most churches present a live drama or play of crucifixion.
Easter Sunday is a public holiday which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also varying in date annually, Nigerians often go to church to give praise and thanks. Some families feast afterward with chicken and rice. The day of Easter is determined by the lunisolar calendar.
International Worker’s day (May 1)
This day can be referred to as May Day, Worker’s Day, or Labour Day, depending on the country. This holiday holds May 1st every year and it is a celebration of laborers and working classes promoted by the international labor movement, an ancient European spring festival. Though some countries choose to celebrate this holiday on dates special to them, Nigerian workers on the 1st of May stay home or go out and enjoy their day engaging in leisure activities.
Children’s Day (May 27)
In Nigeria, the 27th day in May is set out to celebrate children. Children are the leaders of tomorrow, for whom we build today. On this day children and their parents litter amusement parks, conventions, the mall, cinema, pastry shops and more. Children love this day so much because it’s the day parents, uncles and aunts can’t say no and they get a break from school.
Democracy Day (May 29)
Democracy day is a public holiday set to commemorate the restoration of democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After so many years of military rule, the country fully transitioned back to democratic rule in 1999 with the election of the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Annually on May 29, this milestone is celebrated.
Eid – Al – Fitr
Eid – el – Fitr is an international Islamic holiday, celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. In Nigeria, our Muslim brothers and sisters fast for 29 to 30 days from dawn to sunset and pray. The observation of the new moon is done by local authorities, therefore,e Eid celebration varies from place to place. This festival is aimed at showing gratitude, remembering Allah and giving to the poor.
Eid- Al – Adha
This holiday/festival is the second of two festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Also referred to as the Sacrifice Feast, Eid- el-Adha honors Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son in an act of obedience to God’s command. On this day Nigerian’s call Salah, Muslims sacrifice an animal and share into three parts, one third to the poor, one third to relatives, friends, and neighbors, and the rest is kept by the family. Nigerians often throw parties on this day and make merry with numerous friends and lots to eat and drink especially fried meat.
Independence Day (October 1)
Independence Day also known as National Day, marks the day Nigeria gained independence from the colonial rule of Britain October 1, 1960. That day is a pivotal day in Nigerian history and is celebrated nationwide to commemorate how far the nation has come. Special songs are sung, speeches are made, honors bestowed, parties are hosted, pictures are posted, green and white are worn to celebrate our heritage and the sovereign state that is Nigeria.
Mawlid s the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet, Prophet Mohammed S.A.W which is commemorated in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic Calendar. On this day it is declared a public holiday and Nigerians get an extra free day.
Christmas Day (December 25)
Christmas day is the public holiday set out to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This day is a special day in Nigeria and around the world as the citizens usually travel from the city to their hometowns to celebrate this day. Nigerians engage in prayers, feasting, parties, family outings and more on this day. Christmas chicken and clothes are very significant for this holiday.
Boxing Day (December 26)
Boxing day is the public holiday which follows Christmas. Some still are notaware that boxing in boxing day refers to the unwrapping of presents under the Christmas tree. This day is the last public holiday of the year and Nigerians often finish up Christmas merriment on Boxing day.