Durbar 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 Durbar festival had been in hausaland for more than 500 years. It was introduced by sarki Muhammadu Rumfa of Kano in the late 14th century, as a way of demonstrating military power and skills before going to war. The festival is also an opportunity for local leaders to pay homage to emir throughout the jahi cheering.
The Durbar festival featured prominently in the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture sometimes known as Festac 77. Since Festac, the colonial origins was gradually phased out and the events were linked with pre-colonial traditions such as the importance of horses for military purposes and ceremonies in the Bornu Empire and the ceremonies of ‘Hawan Sallah’ and ‘Hawan Idi’.