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Calabar Carnival

In this article, you will find what you need to know about the Calabar annual Carnival – history, aim, and time, process, etc.

Are you still wondering what the Calabar carnival is? Are you asking – what is celebrated at the Calabar carnival? Well, in this article, you will find everything you need to know related to the subject matter, the Calabar carnival.

Calabar carnival, which is normally celebrated with the expression of the way of life of the indigenous people of Calabar, has been in existence for years. Despite this being an annual event, some indigenous people of Calabar and other people interested in the festival do not know much about this event. However, they are curious and want to know more about the festival. 

You see, in this article, just like I stated earlier, I will be addressing everything you need to know regarding the Calabar carnival. So, without wasting much time, let’s proceed –

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Calabar Carnival – What is It About?

The Calabar carnival and festival is best and commonly known as the biggest street party in Africa. This festival is specially held to help display Africa’s culture by utilizing music, dance,

communication, drama, costumes, and other cultural activities of talented African people.

The biggest street party in Africa usually happens annually from December 1st to December 31st. The festival would be held on a different date this year, 2022 due to the obstruction of covid 19 pandemic.

Calabar carnival, Africa’s biggest street party, has improved and grew the cultural perspective of the indigenous people of Calabar and other tribes in Nigeria.

The Calabar carnival was established in 2004 by Mr. Donald Duke during his regime as the Governor of Cross River State.

Mr. Donald Duke, during his regime as the Governor of Cross River, invented the idea and the vision of building the state to become the best tourist place and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa at large.

The main aim of the festival is to pinpoint Cross River as the best tourist center in Africa. The festival, therefore, is not organized for only the Calabar indigenes and the Efik tribe, rather, it is for everybody who loves cultural activities.

Spectators have always come in thousands to experience the culture and tourism of Africa, and they fill themselves with enthusiasm, passion, and intensity of joy.

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What Happens During Calabar Carnival?

The traditional ruler of Calabar who hosts the carnival annually is known as Obong (King translated in the Efik language). The Obong’s cabinet also participates in the cultural festival.

Traditional title holders and their sons and daughters participate in the Calabar carnival. 

The festival draws the interest of over two million spectators and visitors from different regions of the world to watch the culture of the Africans. This is rare and has been acknowledged and covered by prominent media industries.

The Calabar carnival always kicked off with a tree-lightening occasion. In the first three weeks of the festival, art shows, food competitions, musical entertainment, traditional

dances, masque (facial mask) events, street parties, and an essay writing competition is held.

Major events in the Calabar carnival are; the crowning of carnival kings and queens for each band, the children carnival, J’ouvert Band fetes, the annual Ekpe Masquerade festival, and the Christmas party cultural carnival, and the Mary Slessor Golf Charity dinner.

Major reports claim that some new events would be unveiled at the festival this year, 2022, at the Calabar carnival. Events like Passion 4, Seagull, Freedom Bands, Bayside, and Master Blaster will grace the occasion.

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Where Does Calabar Carnival Take Place?

The Calabar Carnival takes place in the tourism capital of Nigeria. The Tourism capital of Nigeria is the Cross River State in the south southern part of Nigeria, formerly named Akwa Akpa (the Cross River States’ oldest name) from the Efik dialect.

The Calabar land, also known as Canaan City, is the pride of Africa’s heritage and has become Africa’s best tourism hub.

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Why Do We Celebrate Calabar Carnival?

The Calabar Carnival is to aid in the growth of tourism in Africa. Besides growing the tourism of Africa, the Calabar carnival has tried its best to help revive the loosening culture, traditions, and ways of life of African people. Other than that, people engage in the Calabar carnival to get happiness, pleasure, and entertainment.


Africa’s biggest street party kicks off in December every year. This year, 2022, it will have many fancies like entertainment, cultural activities and a lot which you should not miss out on the experience and fun. 

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