by Shikenan Staff Writer   on Sat, September 3, 2011 
Festivals in Port Harcourt

Can you imagine being in a place with lots of colorful displays of costumes? Can you imagine witnessing a beautiful dance? Would you like to participate in diving, canoe or boat racing and fishing competition? These are just some of the activities you will find at cultural festivals in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


  1. Osun Osogbo Festival
  2. Durban Festival
  3. Argungun Fishing Festival
  4. Eyo Festival
  5. Sharo/Shadi Festival
  6. Benin Festival
  7. Nzem Berom Cultural Festival
  8. New yam Festival

The city of Port Harcourt is no different when it comes to celebrating Festivals. The Director of the Ministry of Culture and tourism in Rivers State noted that when coming to Port Harcourt, especially if it is your first time, the best thing to look out for is witnessing the various carnivals which usually take place during the festive period, specifically in December. Thus, if you are thinking of visiting Port Harcourt, make sure that you schedule it during the time when you can experience one of its popular festivals.


The major festival in Port Harcourt is the annual cultural festival known as CARNIRIV. Carniriv is an event that brings people together, giving them the chance to have a taste of the most beautiful things in life. Although there is no specific day, Carniriv usually takes place on December. Last year it was celebrated on December 13th to 18th.

There usually is a time table for the various events such as praise fest and other parties but the very great thing and the most intriguing part about this carnival is the parade by the twenty three Local Government Areas in Rivers State which is also known as cultural floats. This float is more like a competition that involves each local government dressing up in traditional costumes and displaying the rich culture of their local area.

What’s more interesting about this is the way each local government chooses a theme and then come up with traditional clothing materials and constructs structures depicting such theme. From my own experience, you would never want this occasion come to an end.

What’s more? The boat regatta and children funfair were introduced to the carnival last year to give kids the opportunity to participate and enjoy the fair just as adults do. This year’s edition will surely be colorful as ever with this exciting development.


If you are thinking of being involved in the carnival, you can start by being a volunteer; providing assistance to the organizing committee. You can also choose to become one of the generous sponsors by paying some services and get advantage from it by advertising your business. However, to be involved, you need to contact the CARNIRIV office at No. 9, Iriebe Street, D Line, Port Harcourt.

One more thing that answers why Nigeria is the best place to visit are the other lively festivals such as Opobo International Boat racing (OIB) and regatta festival which are usually preceded by the Nwotam festival and celebrated by the Opobo people of Rivers State.



OIB is fully accredited by the Federal Government; it is listed as one of the Twelve National Cultural Festival of Nigeria.

OIB is regarded as a celebration of life in the water. Last year, it was celebrated from 6th – 8th of January.

It is a very colorful event with the attendance of cultural troupes from around Nigeria.

It involves competitions between troupes based on how well their boats are decorated and the speed of their boats.


Nwotam festival is celebrated from December 31st through January 1st and is seen as a form of purification and readiness for the New Year.

The Nwotam festival starts with the Nwotam regatta on the noon of 31st, December until nightfall wherein everyone goes to the venue of the festival which will take place till the next morning.

One interesting thing to point out is that all the festivals in Rivers State always have to do with water; that’s why it is called “RIVER” state. All these special festivals in Port Harcourt promises you to have the best experience in your trip and having to witness these various activities will truly end your hesitation on why Nigeria is the best place to visit.







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