Lasgidi is a hotspot for the best events all year round, but things get especially heated as the rains stop and harmattan takes over. At this foggy time of year, the city is even busier, with people coming in as others leave. This is when you're most likely to run into an IJGB (I Just Got Back) or two and those who're visiting Lagos for the first time.
Whether you’ve spent all year waiting to relish the taste of Christmas chicken, or this is your year to detty December, Lagos style, here are five ideas for Christmas in Lagos:
1. Change Your Look
Switching up your look is customary to the season, so salons and boutiques start to overflow with customers in the days leading up to the 25th. Fondly known as Christmas clothes/hair, this is one way to get Nigerians to spare no expense.
Looking good is the key to feeling good, especially when everyone is just as stunning. This is your sign to buy that wig and that dress and those shoes because what better time to spoil yourself than when you won't be joining any meetings or meeting any deadlines?
2. Family Time
All over the world, the holidays bring families together, even those who haven't seen each other since the first week of January. Christmas family time manifests in several ways:
Travel to your village:
I know what you're thinking, “I thought we were celebrating Lagos-style?” Well, this is Lagos style. As the megacity it is, the Center of Excellence is filled with people with roots from all other parts of the country. Christmastime is the period for reconnecting with said roots in an honorary manner. I've noticed this tradition is common among those from the eastern part of Nigeria, and I’ve always wanted to know what that felt like — not like many of my friends were left in Lagos anyway. Unless your state of origin is Lagos, talk to your family about a trip together to see where you're from, especially if you never have. A family that travels together stays together…I think.
Decking the halls is a fun-for-all activity in Lagos households, even though I’m not sure I ever saw real boughs of holly. Putting up Christmas lights and even a pretty impressive tree is a certain way to enjoy spending time with the people that matter to you before all the outside-ing starts. You're most likely to hear the hottest family tea straight from your mother’s mouth while she passes tinsels to the tallest member of the family.
Christmas party and food:
The beloved Christmas rice and chicken are a must-have at every family Christmas celebration. Whether the invite goes strictly to relatives or everyone who knows enough family members, partying from the afternoon of Christmas Eve to Christmas morning is common — and, as far as I'm concerned, recommended because the next time the jollof will slap like that is easter.
3. Carols at church
After going all out and stuffing yourself with everything from chicken to wine, it is time to remember the reason for the season, as the believers would say. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Jesus, but I do love good music, and those songs about his birth get you in the best spirits, full of love and optimism. (Also, there's usually item 7.)
Something about this time of year significantly increases the appeal of light shows. Individuals and groups alike invest in brightening up the sky. I think Nigerians especially enjoy the noise too because sometimes you hear the sound of firecrackers and banger more than you see colours in the sky. (Maybe Lagos people just really like their noise, so nothing screams celebration more than controlled noise.)
5. Christmas concerts
In a little while, I'll tell you all about the hottest shows and events this Christmas, so be on the lookout. Until then, all you need to know is that the most worthwhile celebrities never fail to show face in Lagos as the year ends. Whether Wizkid is headlining or it's The Experience, one of the hottest Christian music shows all year, get ready for nights upon nights of good live music.