The Durbar festivals
The Durbars are centuries old festival is an annual festival celebrated in several cities of Nigeria. It is celebrated at the culmination of Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It begins with prayers, followed by a parade of the Emir and his entourage on horses, accompanied by music players, and ending at the Emir’s palace.
Durbar festivals are organised in cities such as Kano, Katsina and Bida, and are considered tourist attractions.
The Kano Durbar is a fantastic festival and procession held regularly in Kano. Featured in the processions are thousands of horsemen in antique ceremonial gear – the horses wearing ornate bridles and saddles; the men in billowing colorful robes and turbans. The durbars are held on major Muslim holidays, but also staged for special occasions, such as visits by important dignitaries. The northern part of Nigeria, where Kano is located, is a Muslim area, and the horse culture reflects a mix northern African and indigenous Hausa styles (Islam spread into Nigeria from its origins in Arabia via the Saharan trade routes).
Young Girl watching the Durbar Festival in Nigeria 2009
Samari (Boys) by Irene Becker © All rights reserved Sarkin Dogarai (hausa) Emir’s Body guards. A scene from the 2009 Argungu Durbar organized by Argungu Emirate Council