Fugar Cultural Festival and Ososo Carnival – Edo State in Nigeria offers a blend of culture, festivals, and natural attractions that are certain to captivate tourists from around the world. There is something for everyone in Edo State. This Nigerian state has lots to offer regardless of whether you are interested in discovering the region’s rich cultural legacy or simply wish to relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Edo, a state in the south-south region of Nigeria or the Deltan region, has an extensive history of civilization. It is a remnant of the once-mighty and renowned imperial kingdom of Benin, one of the most powerful African empires during the 15th and 16th centuries. The people of Edo are proud of their extensive history and culture. The arts of the Kingdom of Benin are a global brand. Artifacts from Benin are among the most elegant and valued in the history of the world, and they symbolize the first civilization among black people, primarily Africans.
Fugar Cultural Festival and Ososo Carnival – The Fugar Cultural Festival is among the most well-known events in Edo State. This annual event is hosted by the Fugar Progressive Union (FPU) in the town of Fugar. The festival is a celebration of the town’s cultural heritage and a venue for Fugar natives, both nationally and internationally, to gather and celebrate their heritage through traditional dances and cultural acts.
Each group at the festival performs one or two cultural dances in stunning costumes, giving vibrancy and color to the occasion. At the festival, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, and Tourism underlined the necessity of conserving culture without demeaning other civilizations. It has been reported that a new master plan is now in place, which would result in a stronger involvement of the various heritages throughout Edo State, including the Fugar Cultural Festival.
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The hike up Oruku Hill in Ososo, the highest mountain in Edo State, is one of the tour’s highlights. The hike may present some challenges, but the rewarding sense of achievement and breathtaking views at the peak will make up for the experience. The view from the highest point of the hill, which is 381 meters above sea level, is nothing short of stunning.
Ososo is also host to the annual Ososo Carnival, the largest carnival in Edo State and one of the biggest carnival events in South South Nigeria, which is staged annually to highlight the rich cultural legacy and tourism potential of the remote town. The carnival is a huge attraction for travelers from around the world and involves a must-see street dance.
Fugar Cultural Festival and Ososo Carnival – Other tourist attractions and highlights in Edo State include:
1. Okomu National Park
Formerly known as the Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary, the Okomu National Park is a forest block within the 1,082 km2 (418 sq mi) Okomu Forest Reserve in the Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. The park is located approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the northwest of Benin City. The park contains a small portion of the once-extensive forest that formerly covered the region and serves as the last habitat for numerous endangered species.
2. Benin City National Museum
The National Commission for museums and monuments built the Benin city national museum on August 10, 1973. It is located on King’s Square in the city center. The Benin national museum houses irreplaceable Benin art, history, artifacts, and other national artifacts. Everyone is welcome to come explore and learn about Benin culture.
3. Ososo Tourist Center
This center is situated above the rocky terrain of Ososo in Akoko-Edo local government, which is located in northern Edo state. It offers breathtaking landscapes for nature enthusiasts and rock climbers. The tourist centre is an extension of a 1930s-era colonial rest house. In 1993, the first phase of a large renovation was initiated with the addition of a VIP lodge, four chalets, and a main room with a kitchen, restaurant, and lounge.
4. Okonni Wildlife Sanctuary
The Okonni wildlife sanctuary, jointly held by the government of Edo and the Nigerian conservation fund, is home to a variety of endangered primates, including chimpanzees and white-throated monkeys. Additionally, there are buffaloes, porcupines, and red river hogs. It was constructed in 1985. It is renowned as a conservation center for primates on the verge of extinction.
5. Ebohon Cultural Centre
The Ebohon Cultural Center was established in 1965. Built in 1965 by High Priest Osemwegie Ebohon. This is a holy site for the Ebohon, since it is a cultural center for art, traditional religion, and a study centre for traditional sciences and unsolved mysteries. As one approaches the center, one will notice four enormous wrought-iron gates and a fifth pedestrian gate going onto the center’s open grounds or premises.
The gates are Iwowa Gate; which leads to the centre’s museum, dining centre, bar and the Obanamen, Ivie Gate; which leads to the reception room, Ohiovbu Gate; the smallest of the gates, and Iyayimwan Gate; which admits tourists into the centre and is also called the Marriage Gate. The center is surrounded by statues of guardians and goddesses who all contribute to the spirituality of the center.
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6. Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre
In 1995, the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre was built. This cultural center has hosted several performance symposia and exhibitions as the state’s cultural hub. It is named after the late ruler of Benin, Oba Akenzua II, who reigned from 1933 to 1978. It was designed by the renowned Demas Nwoko, and it is an architectural masterpiece with magnificent murals of Edo-style patterns. Even though it was commissioned in 1972, it took decades for it to be completed in 1995, which is an intriguing fact regarding its history.
7. The Statue of Asoro n’Iyokuo (the Great Benin Warrior)
The Asoro n’Iyokuo Statue (the Great Benin Warrior) , a nearly lifelike monument was sculpted in honor of Chief Asoro, a valiant and courageous man who died during the expedition of 1897 while fighting the invading British army. During the siege of Benin, it is believed that chief Asoro defended the current location of the statue with skill. He stated, “no other person dare pass this road unless the Oba” (So kpon Oba).
The current Sokponba village and Sakponba Road are named after Chief Asoro’s statement. This statue, which is a tribute to patriotism and devotion, is placed in Benin City’s King’s Square at the start of Sokponba Road. As one of the only statues depicting the British invasion of Benin, the statue is unique. It is a popular destination for learning about the era.
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Edo State offers a blend of culture, festival, and natural features that are certain to captivate tourists guide from around the world. There is something for everyone, from the Fugar Cultural Festival to the Ososo Carnival to the Oruku Hill trek, and everything in between. If you are considering a vacation to Nigeria, we strongly advise you to visit Edo State and immerse yourself in the region’s vibrant culture and history.
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