Festivals in Nigeria bring about economic and social development. At any festival, there are a series of events that serve as a site for tourists. These events showcase the rich cultural heritage of people in a particular community. In this article, the importance of festivals in Nigeria will be discussed extensively.
The importance of festivals in Nigeria will be discussed below:
- Festivals Promotes Culture and Heritage as well as Foster Cultural Integration
Festivals are a great way to understand one’s culture and heritage. During Festivals in Nigeria, people are meant to understand more about their culture, societal norms as well as their heritage. They are also taught more about their country. This then teaches them about their roots. This in turn teaches them to be proud of their culture and country. It makes them patriotic.
In the rural communities, stories about the past are told to the younger generation during festivals. These stories help them to understand and value the importance of celebrating these festivals through generations. Festivals see to it that the culture of a particular set of people is promoted and showcased to the world. The people’s way of life and their beliefs is been brought to the limelight during festivals. Festivals enhance the preservation of culture and thereby foster cultural integration.
- Festivals Boosts The Economy of The Nation
Festivals bring about economic contributions. One of the ways through which festivals boost the national economy is that visitors spend money during festivals. Citizens also come together to form cooperatives and save money. All these help to initiate development projects. During festivals, people tend to spend money they have saved over time. We all know spending money is an integral part of the development of any economy. People spend so much money on clothes, shoes, decorative items, and so on.
Festivals attract visitors who spend money and this, in turn, stimulates the local economy both on and off the festival settings. The money they spend in the festival setting includes parking fees, admission fees, food, drinks, and even souvenir sales. The money they spend outside the festival settings also generates revenue for the local communities. These money they spend outside includes those they spend when they stop at a local fuel station when they stop by a souvenir shop to buy gifts, when they stop by a restaurant to buy food, and when they stop by the local markets to buy other commodities they would be needing during their visit, as well as those they would carry back to their base. All these activities tend to boost the economy immensely.
- Festivals Promotes Employment and Job Creation
During festivals, lots of employment opportunities are generated. It generates employment for even the unorganized labor class. Even artisans are not left out.
Festivals provide people in the community either with long term jobs or short term jobs. When people are employed, this helps in fighting poverty. The standard of living of the people will thus be improved drastically. By creating jobs for the people in the communities, festivals improve the economic and social lives of the people.
Jobs that could be made available may include, painting, decorations, building, and so on. There is a generation boost on the activities of the communities. During festivals, there is a massive inflow of people into the community. People set up stores to sell souvenir, food, drinks, clothes and other accessories. People also get short-term jobs, for instance, professional dancers, tour guides, swimming coach, photographers, and so on, who are hired temporarily during the course of the festivals.
- Festivals Improve The Social Life of People
Another importance of festivals in Nigeria is that festivals improve the social life of people. Festivals gives people the opportunity to interact with people from different tribes and places. Visitors come from all works of life to attend festivals in a local community. These visitors then form relationships with the indigenous people. These relationships formed could be of great importance to both the locales and the visitors.
Also, festivals give people the opportunity to forget all their worries and celebrate the positive side of life. It brings people together and give people the opportunity to bond together in love, peace, and harmony. It reduces friction between friends and relatives. During festivals, all differences are put aside to make the festival a successful one.
Festivals bring people from every economic, religious, and social background together. During festivals, people meet new people and make new friends. People get the opportunity to see new artists and even foreigners. All these play a vital role in nation-building.
Festivals also serve as a source of entertainment. During festivals, new talents are showcased as there are usually talent hunts for the next big thing. Festivals contribute greatly to feelings of social cohesion. They focus on cultural or ethnic topics and seek to inform the members of the community about their traditions. The elders of the community share stories and experiences about the past activities in the community and also give a sort of template for maintaining oneness among families.
- Festivals Promotes Tourism
In Nigeria, festivals are being used to promote tourism. The time frame set for the events encourages tourists to visit the communities during the festive events. This particular act provides the tourists the opportunity to interact with the people in the local community. They tend to gain a deeper knowledge about the way of life of the people. They also experience the ambience of the environment. They learn about the culture and the customs of the people. During festivals, tourism and tourist centers are being improved. Since there is an increase in social and commercial activities, tourism bring about economic development.
Also, because of the presence of tourists in the area, new products are launched during festivals by indigenous companies so as to enable more sales. New companies also feel confident to launch into the new market during festivals due to the presence of tourists. This bring about an increase in the rate of sales of goods and services.