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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 12:30 GMT
In pictures: Abuja carnival

Carnival procession

Nigeria is holding its first ever carnival. Nearly all of the country's 37 states have sent teams to the four-day event in the capital, Abuja.


The carnival organisers are hoping that it will unite the country and bring in foreign exchange.

Street procession

The West African country's colour, elegance and cultural diversity is on show with masquerades...

Horseman with horse

... Traditional circus performances and even horses. They are widely used in this part of Nigeria, both for ceremonies as well as to travel between villages.


The best way to get between different parts of the carnival is by motorcycle, which is making brisk business for Abuja's "okada" [motorbike taxi] riders.

Yoruba woman with umbrella

Lots of people are using umbrellas to shade themselves from the hot sun. Temperatures are reaching 35C.

People dancing

Some Christians and Muslims are opposed to the carnival, saying that it is immoral, idolatrous and not African.

People dancing

But for the revelling enthusiasts it is a happy time with lots of dancing to music blaring from huge speakers on trucks.

Men dancing

The trucks carrying the sound systems are competing to be the loudest. (Photos by the BBC's Yusuf Sarki Muhammad and Alice Muthengi in Abuja)


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