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Eyo Festival

Eyo Festival

Lagos - Nigeria


Come and admire the most remarkable festival in Lagos and let yourself be amazed by the Eyos celebration. A unique ritual, full of tradition!

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The Eyo Festival or Adamu Orisa, is one of the most striking and traditional Lagos’ events. It only happens on the island of Lagos and is celebrated occasionally, without periodicity (it is celebrated on a Saturday) which makes this event rare and exclusive.

Eyos (the masquerades) celebrate a Oba´s (king) life. Eyo Festival  is a homage to his death. The ritual is also organized to commemorate the election of a new leader. Traditionally, it only occurs at these times. Nowadays, and because it is such a traditional festival, it can be celebrated for the death of a notable person, or to celebrate a special occasion such as visits by heads of state.

The masquerades parade in white robes, with a veil that covers their faces and with typical hats (Akete) differentiated by color, each representing the group to which the Eyo belongs. There are 5 prominent groups, totaling about 70, each with 100 or more elements. The Eyos also use a stick of palm branches (Opambata) to bless the public or punish people who break the rules of the festival.

Come and let yourself be conquered by the songs, movements and enthusiastic dances of the Eyos, who represent ancients’ spirit!
The parade is made from the Iga (the palace - house of a group of Eyos), to the shrine of Orisa Eyo, then passing through the city streets. The main street is even closed to traffic - from the Carter Bridge to Tinubu Square. Eyos usually walk 20 to 30 kilometers, ending the parade at Tafawa Balewa Square, where they are expected by a curious crowd.

Practical Information

If you have the opportunity to attend the Eyo Festival, please be aware that you must adhere to the following etiquette rules: do not wear shoes or hats, do not smoke, do not ride a bicycle or motorcycle, and do not make Soku (traditional hairstyle).
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