Bida Emirate Durbar Festival

 Durbar festival is an annual festival celebrated in several cities of Northern Nigeria. It is celebrated at the culmination of Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr(commemorating the end of the holy month of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha(as a remembrance to Prophet Ibrahim who sacrificed a ram instead of his son). 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 organized in cities such as Kano, Katsina and Bida.

Durbar festival dates back to hundreds of years ago before the arrival of religions when horses were used by the Emirates in the combats. The festival was intended to be the parade of military soldiers of various northern regiments riding in defense of the Emir showcasing their horsemanship, loyalty and preparedness to the war. Today Durbar festival is organized in the honor of visiting heads of the state and it displays the rich northern Nigerian culture and tradition.

The festival is full of colorful procession, pump and pageantry which are led by the Emir and it features a competition between the royal Calvary, drummers, trumpeters, praise singers and wrestlers, making it a widely viewed event in Northern Nigeria. The festival also showcase the full procession of villagers as they gather at the public square or in front of the Emir’s palace where this spectacular and amazing event takes place every year. On this day people enjoy the fabulous view of horse race at full gallop across the public squares, especially the fierce riding acts by the Emir’s household and reg­imental guards, the Dogari.

Even the modern Durbar festival incorporates the ancient traditions of showcasing the horsemanship, glistening of swords, singing and dancing, and paying homage to the present State Governors during each Sallah period.

Durbar festival is one of the tourist attractions that a tourist cannot dear to miss because is a spectacular to behold.

 

 

 

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