The Calabar Carnival is a unique display of African heritage showcased through music, dance, drama and visual creativity, which is reflected in the design of floats, costumes and make-up, giving the show a feel of pure magic, an outpouring of colour, sound and spectacle, unmatched by anything else on the continent of Africa.

The highlight of the 32-day Calabar Festival which runs from 30th November to 1st January, gives one a unique feeling as it is the largest cultural festival in Africa with 50,000 costumed revellers, over 5 million spectators and an audience of over 50 million television viewers.

The Calabar Carnival features 5 major competing bands and 10 non-competing bands. The major bands are comprised of approximately 10,000 revellers each, including up to five kings and queens, wearing large scale costumes that interpret the annual theme and set the tone for the other outfits.

Sections of these costumed revellers create a riot of colour and sparkle along a 12 km route accompanied by live music, Djs, well-decorated floats and steel bands.

The carnival parade terminates at the UJ Esurene Stadium, Calabar, which is the final adjudication and end point of the competition for 'Band of the year' in various categories. is in Calabar to bring you a blow-by-blow account of the biggest cultural spectacle in Africa.

Watch pictures of the Children's carnival here.