We are happy to present one of the best carnivals in the world, the Carnival of Calabar. The Carnival of Calabar is called “the pride of Nigeria.” Throughout December, the city of Calabar hosts many carnival events with a touch of creativity, music, art, design, and various groups playing their dance moves.
The Carnival of Calabar is, without a doubt, the most important, longest, and longest tourist event in West Africa for years. It attracts more than two million travelers worldwide and offers participants from more than 25 different countries. The battle of the bands and the parade of streets are broadcast before an audience of about fifty million viewers.
The best carnival in Africa (Carnival of Calabar) is a month-long celebration of exciting events. The highlight of Carnival Calabar is the parade of streets where the battle groups take place. The show is one of the attractions of Calabar Carnival. There are ceremonies, concerts, art exhibitions, street parties, masks, sports events, and uninterrupted parties.
WHEN IS THE CALABAR CARNIVAL 2019?
When is the carnival in Calabar 2019? Carnival 2019 Calabar lasts throughout December! Yes, you have heard that this is what has been celebrated for a month, from December 1 to December 31, 2019.
PLACE FOR CARNIVAL OF CALABAR IN NIGERIA
Calabar, also known as Canann City, is a city in southeastern Nigeria. Calabar is the capital of the state of the transversal river. Calabar is adjacent to the Calabar and Great Kwa Rivers and the Cross River Rivers.
A SHORT HISTORY OF CARNIVAL IN CALABAR
The dawn of the Calabar Carnival began in 2004, when Donald Duke, governor of Cross River, Nigeria, decided that this would be the perfect way to boost tourism and the local economy. He wanted to make Cross River State the first tourist destination of the Nigerians.
He wanted to create a carnival highlighting the local heritage, and the Carnival of Calabar was a great success! Today, December’s carnival attracts millions of visitors and has boosted the local economy.
Ironically, Africa’s biggest and best carnival, the birthplace of the festival, is one of the youngest in the world.
THE CARNIVAL PROGRAM OF CALABAR 2019
The Carnival of Calabar has from the beginning of the same calendar of events. Major carnival events take place during the last two weeks of the carnival in Calabar. It is divided into four parts:
- 1 to December 10: Millennium Week
- December 12-17: Sports week
- 19th to December 24: TINAPA Family Festival
- December 25 to 31st: Carnival Week
The carnival in Calabar officially begins with a ceremony to light trees. During the first three weeks of the carnival, there will be music performances, culinary competitions, solidarity marches, street parties, fashion shows, a prestigious writing competition, art exhibitions, dances, and traditional masks.
Key events include the Jouvert Group Celebrations, the Coronation of Kings and Queens of the Carnival, the Christmas Carnival, the Children’s Carnival, the charity dinner Mary Slessor Golf, and the annual Ekpe Mask Festival.
BANDS OF CALABAR CARNIVAL 2019
The Carnival of Calabar has five main competing groups, each with about 10,000 participants. Different names and colors can distinguish each group. Each group was created for the rest of his clothes.
1. Bayside Strip (Blue)
Bayside Band is led by the creator of Calabar Carnival and former governor Donald Duke. He is known for his distinct marine aquatic color and allows anyone to join the group, even strangers.
2. Freedom band (yellow)
The yellow color defines the freedom band. This band has always been ranked in the top three since the beginning of the carnival!
3. Seagull band (red)
The seagull band is known for its distinctive red color. It has been described as the most stylish and coordinated group. The group is also known for its patriotism and its links with Nigeria. They are proud to show their roots.
4. Passion 4 Band (Green)
Passion 4 Band is known as Green Band and is currently the most successful band of all time! He won the competition more than any other group. The group is often considered the only group of two sections: one for children and one for adults.
5. Masta Blasta (Orange)
Masta Blasta Band is known as the Orange family! They are called the funniest group! Masta Blasta is the largest member of the world. They are famous for their inclusion!
SPORTS WEEK IN THE 2019 CALABAR CARNIVAL
The Carnival in Calabar would not be complete without sports! During the carnival, you can watch the popular Carni-Cal Cup football tournament. There is also a popular golf tournament, a boat race, and several other sporting events.
CALABAR CARNIVAL LIVE MUSIC SHOWS
During the carnival, local and international artists perform in various music concerts, including Luke Dube, Fat Joe, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, 2-Face Idibia, MC Galaxy, Davido, Wizkid, P Square, and lots of other Artiste from Nigeria.
CARNIVAL OF THE CALABAR AFRICAN GASTRONOMIC EXPO
Do not miss the Calabar Carnival African Food Expo! It’s a carnival highlight! You can taste the extraordinary dishes that you have probably never felt before! The air is full of intoxicating aromas.
CALABAR CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL
As the carnival in Calabar takes place in December, there are also many Christmas parties. This gives the carnival in Calabar extra magic that you only feel at Christmas once a year. Be sure to check out the Christmas village set up for the carnival in Calabar.
CARNIVAL CALABAR 2019 – CARNIVAL MAIN WEEK
The carnival week is the last week of the carnival in Calabar and corresponds to most of the highlights. This is the week that attracts the most tourists. Some of the most popular events are:
- December 27: The motorcycle parade takes place in the morning
- December 27: Miss Africa beauty contest takes place everywhere
- December 28: Calabar Street Parade and Band of the Year competition
- December 29: Wonders on Wheels take place at Calabar Stadium at night, showing classic cars.
- December 30: The Green Carnival takes place in the morning and shows environmentally friendly actions. The event ends with a street party in the evening.
- December 31: Fireworks on New Year’s Eve
CALABAR CARNIVAL PARADE
A carnival theme guides all carnival groups who need to interpret this theme and represent it through their costumes, songs, dances, floats, and exhibits.
The carnival parade in Calabar has 50,000 costume parties, appearing in five main carnival groups and ten uncompetitive groups. In the parade, the carnival groups clash in the hope of winning the title of best group.
The parade takes place on a 12 km course and is a show. It’s full of colors, glamor, DJs, musicians, steel bands, floats, and incredible costumes. Hundreds of thousands of people roam the streets to watch the parade, and the atmosphere is electrifying.
CALABAR CARNIVAL BAND OF THE YEAR 2019
The carnival parade ends at the UJ Esuene stadium and is followed by the “Band of the Year” award ceremony. The experts award various prizes for their costumes, their music, their poses, their choreographies, and, of course, for the prestigious “Group of the Year.”
Approximately 15,000 spectators fill the stadium, 10,000 spectators surround it, and the event is broadcast in front of an audience of more than 50 million people! As you can imagine, winning the title of the best group brings not only a good money prize but also fame across the country!
WHERE IS THE CARNIVAL IN CALABAR 2019
Almost all carnival events in Calabar take place in the city of Calabar. Most events take place at Calabar Cultural Center and Calabar Stadium. The parade crosses many streets of the city of Calabar.
ROUT TO THE CALABAR CARNIVAL 2019
Using Air Ways: You can reach Calabar via the Margaret Ekpo International Airport. The airport is not connected to any international city but is mainly served by Lagos and Abuja. Most international flights land in Lagos, and from Lagos, the trip takes about one hour. For some flight offers, click here.
Using Roads: Calabar is 12-15 hours drive from Lagos. Several transport companies regularly travel to most of Nigeria and other major cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Yola, Harcourt, and Yola. These include Cross Country, ABC Transport, Peace Mass Transit, The Young Shall Grow, and Elim Tours.
By boat: In fact, there is a regular boat service from various parts of the Cameroonian coast that carries people and vehicles.
HOW TO MOVE IN CALABAR?
There are many buses, taxis, and motorbikes to get around the city. The roads in Calabar are well paved, and the traffic is less dense than in cities like Lagos. Therefore, it is relatively easy to move.
WHERE TO STAY IN CALABAR
There is a wide range of Calabar hotels, from budget to luxury hotels. Prices range from $ 3 to $ 90 per night. We recommend booking in advance, as two million people attend this carnival, which also takes place during the Christmas season!
TAKE A RIDE IN CALABAR
If you want to experience the carnival in Calabar, but do not want to organize it yourself or you do not want to go alone, you should consider a guided tour. Note that there are a few trips on Viator. Click here. Or if you are lucky enough to spend an extended vacation. If you are planning to take a tour of Nigeria, the bike tour offers some exciting itineraries.
ATTRACTIONS IN CALABAR DURING CARNIVAL
Calabar, in southern Nigeria, is located near the Cameroonian border and is the state capital of Cross River. In Calabar, there are many fantastic attractions to see, including:
1. Tinapa Calabar Business and Leisure Resort:
This is the first integrated business and leisure resort in Nigeria. Designed to provide tourists with a dream experience during a visit. Located on the Calabar River, this hotel is a prime facility where visitors can enjoy local and leisure activities.
2. Cross River National Park:
This is one of the top travel destinations for ecotourism. This is one of West Africa’s best-preserved rainforests. Here you can observe rare birds and animals in their natural habitat in the rainforest.
3. Kwa Falls:
This waterfall is a tropical paradise located in a narrow and steep gorge on the Kwa River. While this waterfall is spectacular, the beautiful poolside beach it flows into is even more inviting.
4. Obudu Mountain Resort:
Located on the plateau of Cross River State, a beautiful place to visit. With miles of hills, it is worth visiting this tranquil and picturesque setting.
5. Agbokim Falls:
This waterfall consists of seven streams that fall on a cliff.
6. National Museum of Calabar:
This building used to be the government building during colonial rule and was built in Great Britain and sent in parts to Calabar in the late 19th century. This museum is full of ancient relics, documents, furniture, and artifacts and a great place to learn about the history of Efik.
7. Chief Ekpo Bassey’s House:
This former home in Calabar stands out for its history and the richness of Chief Ekpo Bassey, who was the keeper of the Efik tribe and politics during the colonial era.
8. Dukes Town Church:
This is one of the oldest churches in Nigeria, and the first place Christianity was taught about the arrival of missionaries in Nigeria.
9. Drill Rehabilitation Center:
This wildlife initiative was built to preserve the life of nearly extinct drills, which are a rare species of endangered primate.
10. Botanical Garden:
Made in the 1880s and designed by the British to grow commercial crops.
11. Slave Museum:
This museum contains a lot of information about the slave trade activities that were popular in the 15th century.
Calabar has a lot more than most people know. If you are in Calabar for a carnival, you should visit some of these places. Take a look at some tours here.
FAQ: IS CALABAR CARNIVAL SAFE?
The Cross River government values security. They assured the residents and tourists that adequate security measures were taken. This is reflected in the fact that participants from 26 different countries participate in this carnival.
However, as theft is familiar, you should keep your valuables or store them in a safe place, e.g., B. in a security bag. It’s even better to drop them off in your hotel room during the busiest events.
AFRICA INFLUENCE ON THE CARNIVAL OF MODERN TIMES!
Africa cultures have shaped carnival celebrations around the world! They have contributed to different styles of carnival music that have evolved from rhythmic beats, including Samba, Soca, and Steelpan.
The colorful costumes that you see at the Carnival in Brazil or the Caribbean were also influenced by African slaves who wore masks, feathers, and other decorative items. Even many types of carnival dances have evolved from African cultures.