The Durbar festival is one historic and evergreen festival that has left an important mark among the Hausa and Fulani people of Nigeria. The Durbar festival is an annual festivity that is celebrated in several Northern towns and cities. Some of these cities are Kano, Gombe, Katsina, Bida and a host of others. It is usually observed at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during the Eid-Al-Fitri celebrations. The most recent one was held in Kano, with so many important personalities gracing the beautiful occasion.
Most often than not, the event which features the Emir and Head of Councils (or Emirates), starts with Islamic prayers. It is then followed by a well orchestrated equestrian parade featuring the Emir and his royal entourage. The Emir’s entourage is escorted by traditional musicians playing local melodious music. The majestic procession ends at the Emir’s palace where various dignitaries pay homage to him.
The Durbar festival is really not just an Emir’s affair, locals also actively participate in it. The locals are of great importance due to the massive role they play in musical performances, special dance routines, the equestrian sequence and what is popularly known as “Jahi race”. The Durbar festival that takes place in Kano is referred to as “Hawan Daushe”. It is arguably the biggest festivity in Kano State, attracting lots of visitors from far and near. An event that showcases the rich traditional and cultural heritage of the ancient city of Kano.
The Jahi race is notably regarded as the most important part of the Durbar festival. It is the last program of the “Hawan Daushe” . An event in which several horse riders in the Kano emirate move on top speed, charging up to meet the Emir. Not to worry, the Emir won’t get hurt as they’ll pull over upon reaching where he stays. Afterwards, they’ll raise their swords or flags before taking a bow. At this point, everybody cheers them on as they perform their supposed “heroic” gesture.
The Durbar festival is an amazing piece of Nigerian culture. It’s also a distinct display of an evergreen tradition. Why not experience it and relive the beautiful and graceful moment.
If you have been a part of the Durbar festival, you can share your experience via the comment box below.