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Nigeria's Abuja begins christmas celebrations

Abuja christmas lights   -  
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People in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, have been getting into the festive spirit this weekend, with the opening of an annual Christmas Village in the centre of the city.

On Saturday evening, illuminations at a downtown five-star hotel park were lit up for the holiday season and residents from all walks of life came to enjoy them.

The Christmas lights combined with a gala evening of music and entertainment as hundreds toured the park with thousands of twinkling stars.

Nigerians have been faced with rising costs of living and fuel shortages this year, so the bright lights which don't rely on the national electricity grid with its regular power cuts were a welcome sight.

34-year-old nurse , Alex Ijeoma, said she wanted to put the challenges of the past year behind her and have fun. “This Christmas I’m really grateful to God that we finally saw the end of the year, despite the challenges, the ups and downs that we've experienced as a country, as a people. So I'm actually here to unwind, and you know, to put all the issues and challenges behind me and just have fun.” Ijeoma said.

Entry for the festival of lights costs 3500 naira (US dollars) for adults, while children get in free.

The illuminations will continue until December 31st where an event is planned to welcome in the New Year.

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