December is a month full of celebrations worldwide, and Nigeria is no exception. Here, we delve into the public holidays in Nigeria for December 2023, their significance, and some tips for enjoying these special days to the fullest.
1. Christmas Day: Monday, December 25
Christmas, the global celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, is cherished by Nigerian Christians. On December 25th, families unite for meals, gifts, and festive spirit. Churches host special services, spreading joy and love
Christmas in Nigeria goes beyond religion; it’s a cultural extravaganza. Streets dazzle with lights, decorations, and lively parades for all to enjoy. Music, dance, and unity define this special day
2. Boxing Day: Tuesday, December 26
Beyond Christmas, Nigerians continue the festive spirit with Boxing Day on December 26th. Though rooted in British tradition, this day has found a special place in the hearts of Nigerians. Originally, it was all about gifting boxes to the less fortunate and service workers. Nowadays, it’s a day to unwind, shop, and often, spread kindness through charitable deeds.
Boxing Day provides many Nigerians with the chance to prolong their Christmas merriment. This can involve visiting friends and family, relishing the previous day’s feast, or partaking in various events. Alternatively, it serves as a day of leisure, with some taking advantage of post-Christmas sales.
3. End of Year Break: Last Two Weeks of December
December in Nigeria is marked by a distinctive feature—the end-of-year break. During the last two weeks, many companies and businesses gradually wind down operations. This respite offers employees a valuable opportunity to recharge, share quality moments with their loved ones, and contemplate the year that has passed.
During this period, social gatherings in Nigeria are on the rise. Companies take the opportunity to express gratitude to their teams by organizing end-of-year parties. The atmosphere is electric with celebrations, featuring music, dance, and an overall sense of merriment
How Nigeria Decides Public Holidays
How does Nigeria determine its public holidays? The responsibility falls to the Ministry of Interior. Based on the Public Holidays Act, they declare the official public holidays, ensuring citizens are aware and can plan accordingly. Every year, Nigeria officially observes at least nine such holidays, with December being particularly festive.
Where to Spend the Holidays?
With December being a time of celebration and breaks, many Nigerians opt for travel. Whether it’s visiting family in rural areas or exploring new destinations, the month sees a surge in movement.
Favour Obioha, a seasoned travel writer, notes that December is when “everyone travels”. Some return to their roots, attending family gatherings, weddings, or other ceremonies. Others seek leisure, heading to resorts or tourist destinations. A few notable places to visit include:
- Ibom Icon Resort, Akwa Ibom: A peaceful retreat for those looking for relaxation.
- Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River: For the adventure seekers, this offers breathtaking views and exciting activities.
- Nike Lake Resort, Enugu: A blend of nature and luxury, it’s perfect for families.
For those planning to travel, Obioha emphasizes the importance of preparation. December is peak travel season, so things can get hectic. Booking in advance, knowing your transport options, and setting a clear budget are vital. Also, she advises travelers to be ready for crowds – a common sight in December.
December in Nigeria is more than just a month; it’s a grand celebration of life, culture, and togetherness. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding and participating in these public holidays can offer a rich, immersive experience. Embrace the festivities, the food, the music, and above all, the warm Nigerian hospitality.