The 1st of December marks the beginning of the holiday season in most of the world. The month is packed with events from the beginning to the end. In Lagos especially, December is one of the most wedding filled months throughout the year.
Mostly though, it is a time to be with family. People go home to their families; they take trips from their home base to go to holiday destinations with their families, etc. December brings with it Christmas and New Year’s Eve – right after December, a new year begins (obviously) and these are major holidays that are celebrated internationally.
Lagos is a metropolitan city that is very much on its way to becoming the perfect tourist destination. It is the second fastest growing city in Africa boasting of a rising economy, better infrastructure and wonderful weather. The city has so much to offer, bursting with beaches and history. The history can be experienced in the National Museum, National Theatre, Freedom Park etc. You can start your day with the perfect view of the coastline from your hotel room at Eko Hotels, indulge in some yummy Nigerian breakfast, step out of your hotel and make your way to Lekki Art Market, buy authentic Nigerian artwork while supporting local artists and creative. For lunch, you can get take-away and visit Lekki Conservation Centre for a picnic – the animals are really friendly. For dinner, you can head over to the Radisson Hotel and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset. If you’re more drawn to waking up at the beach, you can hire a boat to Ilashe, rent a beach house for a few days and indulge in the art of relaxation. There’s something for everyone, you can experience and soak in the culture, while also indulging in your other interests. The city is the perfect example of how well native culture, history and traditions fuse with western influence. Truly, it boasts of transforming western influence and infusing the essence of Lagos into it thereby making everything within it truly Lagosian.
The beautiful city is also expanding, in a few years it will be able to boast of Eko Atlantic City which promises to be a truly monumental destination to behold.
While experiencing Lagos state this season, it’d be criminal not to bring in the New Year at the annual Lagos Countdown event which takes place at Bar Beach in Victoria Island, Lagos. . Lagos is popularly known as the commercial hub of West Africa and the advent of the Lagos Countdown further solidifies Lagos as the perfect destination for business and pleasure. It provides business opportunities for local businesses, encourages brand development for organisations and creates jobs for job seekers during the holiday period. The event is organised by the Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA) on behalf of Lagos State Government. Arguably one of Africa’s biggest New Year’s Eve parties, The Lagos Countdown festivities had its maiden edition in 2012 which saw a total of 60,000 people in attendance. The fireworks show ran for a record-breaking total of 45 minutes – an occurrence which event-goers have professed to be one of the highlights of the crossover party. For three weeks, wonderful pockets of activities run throughout the stretch of the Bar Beach.
The Beer Village is arguably one of safest, most affordable temporary bars in Africa. You can go there for the affordable beer that is only served in cups (its charming and it’s a great safety measure), or the grilled fish, or the sharwama. OR you can go for all three, no judgement here, it’s the holidays! If you fancy yourself a bit of a Beyoncé, 2 Face or Tiwa Savage in the making, maybe karaoke is more to your taste – there’s a karaoke section that runs for a few days. You can revel in the feeling of performing for a crowd of thousands like a superstar.
If you’re drawn to vintage experiences and vintage charm, i.e. if you have ever wished you could attend an outdoor cinema with a view of the sea in front of you then you’re in luck! The Lovers’ Rock section caters to lovebirds and cinema buffs. You can come for a quiet night watching movies at the beach with your significant other and partake in a 1960s American experience.
The actual crossover event is truly one for the books – it is splendid, it is electrifying, it is also free. That’s right, you can attend a free concert with the best of the best musical artistes performing completely free of charge. Last year the event saw about 100,000 people in attendance. This year the stage is designed in a way that envelopes attendees into the whole experience, hundreds of lights will surround the arena for full visibility. The crowd will be bigger, the fireworks will be better and it will be the best night of the year.
The food, the view of the sea and the people make for an unforgettable experience. Thousands of people come together to count down to the New Year on the 31st and it is truly a sight to behold. The feeling of togetherness and excitement is unrivalled. In the moment, you forget that you are not just a mother, father, sister or brother, you are also a Lagosian.