The Nigerian government like other federal governments of different countries of the world has released an official calendar with all public holidays which will be observed in the country for the year.
Whether you’re a civil servant or a self-employed citizen in Nigeria, getting familiar with these public holidays in Nigeria will help you a lot in planning your moves for the new year.
Some public holidays in Nigeria (mostly Muslim holidays) are just stipulated dates as these various holidays are dependent on some factors like the appearance of the full moon and other factors which might not be known to other citizens who do not practice Islam.
In 2018, the incumbent Nigerian President – President Muhammudu Buhari changed the date of the “Democracy Day” holiday which is usually celebrated on the 29th of May to June 12th (which was formerly M.K.O Abiola day).
Apart from the rescheduling of some dates by the president, there has been no other major change to the public holidays we used to know as Nigerians.
There are 4 major Christian holidays in Nigeria which are Easter Monday, Good Friday, Boxing Day, and Christmas Day holidays. Major Muslim holidays in Nigeria are Eid al-Adha, Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid el Kabir holidays.
In this post, we’ll be showing the popular public holidays in Nigeria in their respective groups (religious and national holidays), their dates, and a little explanation of these holidays.
Complete List Of All Public Holidays In Nigeria
- January 1st – New Year’s Day
- April 15th – Good Friday
- April 16th – Holy Saturday
- April 17th – Easter Sunday
- April 18th – Easter Monday
- May 1st – Workers’ Day
- May 3rd – Id el Fitr
- May 27th – Children’s Day
- June 12th – Democracy Day
- July 9th – Id el Kabir
- Just 11th & 12th – Id el Kabir (Additional Holiday)
- October 1st – Independence Day Celebrations
- October 29th – Id el Maulud
- December 25th – Christmas Day
- December 26th – Boxing Day
- December 31st – New Year’s Eve
Christian Public Holidays In Nigeria
Good Friday – This is a holiday celebrated by Christians in Nigeria and the world at large to remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is a holiday that is normally observed on the Friday before Easter and this holiday is to be observed by Christians all over the world on April 10th.
Easter – Easter holidays are always celebrated for 2 days (Easter Sunday and Monday) after Good Friday. This holiday is used to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death on Good Friday.
Christmas Day – The Christmas day Holiday is a very popular Christian holiday in Nigeria. Christians in the country and all around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ yearly on the 25th of December and it is declared as a public holiday in Nigeria and globally.
Boxing Day – A very often misinterpreted global holiday in Nigeria is Boxing day. This holiday is usually celebrated after Christmas and is used to rest after the celebrations and also to unwrap Christmas gifts. The Boxing Day holiday in Nigeria for this year comes up on the 26th of December.
Muslim Public Holidays In Nigeria
Ramadan – This is a holiday set aside for Muslim faithful all over the world to celebrate the beginning of their fasting period. This year, the Ramadan period will start on the 23rd of April and end on the 23rd of May.
Id el-Fitr – This is not just a holiday but a festival known as “Sallah” by most Nigerians. It begins immediately after the Ramadan fasting season and it is also celebrated with the killing of Rams.
The Id el-Fitr festival in Nigeria for the year is scheduled for Sunday, the 3rd of May.
Id el Kabir – This is also a festival celebrated by Muslims all over the country and it is scheduled for Friday, 9th of July.
National Public Holidays In Nigeria
New Year’s Day – This is usually celebrated on the first day of each year. Christians and Muslims all over the world thank God for ushering them into the new year. New Year’s day in Nigeria is on the 1st of January.
Democracy Day – Democracy day in Nigeria is a day set aside in Nigeria to celebrate the end of the military regime in the country because the Nigerian people now operate on a democratic system of government.
Democracy day in Nigeria was moved from May 29th to June 12th to celebrate an icon of democracy – M.K.O Abiola by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Democracy day in Nigeria for this year will be held on the 12th of June.
It is also a day in which the central power exchanges hands if a general election was contested and the incumbent president of the country was defeated that year.
Independence Day – This is a very special day in every country in the world (if these countries were colonized) that is set aside to celebrate freedom from colonial rule.
In Nigeria, independence day is celebrated on the 1st of October of every year as it was the date in which the Nigerian people were set free from their colonial masters in 1960.
The Nigerian Independence day holiday for the year will be held on the 1st of October as it has been done for as long as Nigeria has been an independent country.
Worker’s Day – This is a day that is set aside in Nigeria for workers to take a day off work and rest or just have fun. It is scheduled to be held on Friday, May 1st.