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 2021.
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 these 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 holiday), their dates and a little explanation of these holidays.
Christian Public Holidays In Nigeria (2021)
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, 2021.
Easter – Easter holidays are always celebrated for 2 days (Easter Sunday and Monday) after the Good Friday. This holiday is used to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death on the Good Friday. In the 2021 calendar, the Easter holidays are to be celebrated on 13th and 14th of April, 2020.
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 the 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 2021.
Muslim Public Holidays In Nigeria (2021)
Ramadan – This a holiday set aside for Muslim faithful all over the world to celebrate the beginning of their fasting period. In 2021, the Ramadan period will start on the 23rd of April and end on the 23rd of May 2021.
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 2021 is scheduled for Sunday, 24th of May 2021.
Id el Kabir – This is also a festival celebrated by Muslims all over the country and it is scheduled for Friday, 31st of July, 2021.
National Public Holidays In Nigeria (2021)
New Year Day – This is usually celebrated on the first day each year. Christians and Muslims all over the world thank God for ushering them into the new year. The New Year day in Nigeria is on the 1st of January 2021.
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.
The 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 2021.
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 in that year.
Independence Day – This a very special day in every country in the world (if these countries were colonised) that is set aside to celebrate the freedom from the colonial rule.
In Nigeria, the 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 2021 will be held on the 1st of October 2021.
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, 2021.
Complete List Of All Public Holidays In Nigeria
- January 1st, 2021 – New Year Day (Friday)
- April 10th, 2021 – Good Friday (Friday)
- April 11th, 2021 – Holy Saturday (Saturday)
- April 12th, 2021- Easter Sunday (Sunday)
- April 13th, 2021 – Easter Monday (Monday)
- May 1st, 2021 – Workers’ Day (Saturday)
- May 24th, 2021 – Id el Fitr (Monday)
- May 25th, 2021 – Id el Fitr (Additional Holiday) (Tuesday)
- May 27th, 2021 – Children’s Day (Thursday)
- June 12th, 2021 – Democracy Day (Saturday)
- July 31st, 2021 – Id el Kabir (Friday)
- August 1st, 2021 – Id el Kabir (Additional Holiday) (Sunday)
- October 1st, 2021 – Independence Day Celebrations (Friday)
- October 29th, 2021 – Id el Maulud (Friday)
- December 25th, 2021 – Christmas Day (Saturday)
- December 26th, 2021 – Boxing Day (Sunday)
- December 31st, 2021 – New Year’s Eve (Friday)