Sunday, September 25, 2022


The Kano Durbar is the largest procession of colourful horses in the world. It has evolved with the history, culture and tradition of the Kanawas (People of Kano) over a long period of time.

The word 'Durbar' comes from Hindi-Urdu 'darbar' - dar meaning door and bar meaning entry or audience.

The location: the city of Kano
Kano is located in northern Nigeria, bordering Jigawa from the north and east, Katsina from the west, Kaduna from the southwest and Bauchi from the southeast. Kano is home to over 3 million people - the Hausa speaking Sunni Muslims, the Kanawa of Hausa and/or Fulani ethnicity and settlers. The city of Kano is known for hosting the most spectacular Durbar Festival each year.

The history
The Durbar festival dates back to over 200 years when horses were used in warfare to protect the Emirate. Each noble household was expected to defend the emirate by performing a regiment. Once a year, the regiments would gather for a military parade to demonstrate allegiance to the Emir, by showcasing their horsemanship, readiness for war and loyalty.

Symbols of royal linage
The procession is strictly men only dressed in magnificent robes and turbans, many with one 'ear' or two sticking out denoting their royal linage.

The turban is a symbol of prestige and royalty. The men at the Durbar festival adorn themselves with different colors of turbans.

Music and rhythm
The Durbar festival is filled with spectacular traditional bazaar of African music. Rhythm of the traditional music instruments fill the air.

Hawan Sarki
The Durbar Festival unfolds over four days of grandeur, horsemanship and equestrian parades. Beginning with Hawan Sallah - the Festival Riding, Hawan Daushe, Hawan Nassarawa, and ends with Hawan Doriya. Hawan Daushe is the most intriguing and impressive part of the Durbar celebration, it also features the 'Jahi' the focus of spectators from around the world..

Credit: Rising sun history

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