AESTHETICS OF COLOURS, SYMBOLS AND SPECTACLES IN THE 2021 NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND CULTURE, (NAFEST) EKITI STATE, NIGERIA
Nigeria as a multi-cultural nation boasts of many festivals, many of which are found in the six geo-political zones of the country. One of the major festivals that bring together the Nigerian citizens as one entity is the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) organized by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC). The festival is celebrated yearly in ways that are unique to Nigerians and culture enthusiasts locally and abroad. The festival has equally boosted the Nigerian economy through tourism promotion and culture preservation. This study shall adopt Cultural identity theory. The theory will be used to examine the festival as a platform that showcases culture which represents the totality of the ways and lives of the Nigerian people. To achieve this, the researcher shall gather data as a participant observer during the festival which featured elements such as costume, make-up, dance, drama, children theatre, fashion parade, local cuisines, local games, music, props, acrobatic displays, trade fair among others. These elements are the cultural aesthetics of the festival thereby creating spectacles and colours in unique styles by each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja. The study particularly examines the 2021 edition of NAFEST hosted by Ekiti State Government. The study reveals that the festival is a unique multi-ethnic event that brings together Nigerians and their kinsmen in the diaspora. NAFEST has equally provided a good opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ekiti people and the economic values of their products and materials. The paper, therefore, concludes that, the National Festival of Arts and Culture has over the years promoted national unity and social integration among Nigerians.