By Biodun Busari
Nigerians will stay awake tonight being the last day of the year 2022 to cross over into the New Year – 2023.
There are a lot of reasons why people around the world stay awake on New Year’s eve, Nigerians inclusive.
Read also: Happy New Year
Below are a few important reasons Nigerians refuse to sleep but stay awake on New Year’s eve.
Nigeria is a secular state with religious people. The two dominant religions – Christianity and Islam have groups that organise prayers for people to attend. This is a popular belief that Nigerians should pray rather than sleep so as to make the New Year better than the previous one.
A lot of Nigerian women stay awake to cook foods that their families would eat for New Year’s celebrations. Some city carnivals hold on the night of the eve of New Year, so women and their male counterparts defy sleep to cook for the city residents.
Some Nigerians choose New Year’s eve to party. They believe they have experienced a lot of stress and labour for the year. To reward their efforts, they don’t sleep on New Year’s to enjoy good foods, drinks, dances and other exciting activities with their loved ones.
It is usually common that some elite and top professionals stay awake on New Year’s eve to plan. While this isn’t common among general people, some entrepreneurs, top investors, technocrats don’t sleep on New Year’s for them to brainstorm and chart a new course for the new year.
Nigerian people especially in the rural areas use the night of the New Year to hold association meetings. In some settings, families and communities stay awake to have a meeting on New Year’s eve for the betterment of their people.
Due to some security challenges in the country, most security personnel and local vigilantes don’t sleep on the eve of the New Year to guard the cities. They know that gunmen and other assailants use the euphoria of the festive season to attack, so they stay awake to foil any possible assaults on citizens.
Nigerians also use New Year’s eve to travel to see their loved ones. Roads are usually free of traffic on the night of New Year’s eve so some people use it as an opportunity to transit especially within cities.