The Benue Youth Cultural Carnival - launched in 2009 - is an annual event aimed at showcasing the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Benue's people and at promoting the state as a warm and hospitable tourism destination. The carnival - coordinated by the Office of the Governor through the Special Assistant on Youth and Student Affairs - took place most recently from December 15 to 30, 2012 in Makurdi, the state capital. Themed "the carnival for peace and unity," it underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationships amongst people of various cultural backgrounds.
Aside from the various Nigerian contingents, there were participants from other countries such as Cameroon and Niger. Events at the celebration included a beauty pageant, Kwaghir puppet theatre and a carnival procession led by the carnival queen. Colourful, vibrant and joyful, the carnival is sure to draw thousands of visitors year after year. See more photographs from the Carnival below: [slideshow_deploy id='2153'] Want to learn more about the rich culture of Nigeria's states and people? Check out our Discover Nigeria Geography section now! Want more on Benue? Read Godi's short story about Christmas in the state here. This piece was first posted on January 30, 2013.