The word ‘Durbar’, is derived from a Hindi-Urdu word meaning entry or audience.
The ever-evolving Kano Durbar festival marking Eid, has the largest parade of colourfully adorned horses in the world.
Originally, the Durbar Festival was a pledge to ‘protect the Emirate’ with an annual military ceremony. This show of ‘horsemanship, readiness for war and loyalty’ dates back over 200 years.
The festival takes place in Kano city, northern Nigeria, and is situated between Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina and Bauchi.
The majority of Kano’s 3 million inhabitants are Hausa/Fulani people, and are known for hosting one of the most popular Durbar Festivals.
This majestic procession spans a four-day period of ceremonial horsemanship.
Starting with Hawan Sallah, followed by Hawan Dausche, Hawan Nassarawa and finishing with Hawan Doriya.
Hawan Dausche features the ‘Jahi’- watchers from all over the world.
The parade is only made up of men who wear spectacular turbans and robes.
The turbans worn are a symbol of wealth and royalty, and to signify their royal linage, some of these men will have one or both of their ears exposed.
Along with colourful and symbolic attire, music is played using traditional instruments, while dances, stunts and masquerades are performed.
The Durbar Festival is intergenerational which keeps its tradition alive to be passed on to future generations.