top of page

My First Durbar in Kano

My trip to Kano was amazing but without doubt the highlight of the trip was the Durbar festival. I was shocked to find out how many people didn't know what the Durbar festival or Hawan Daushe as it called in Hausa is. There are so many great festivals happening around the country every year but lack of knowledge and insecurity to making so many people miss out on them.

Anyway, let me explain a little history of the Durbar festival in Kano. The Hawan Daushe (Durbar festival) is a tradition that dates back to the 14th century. Every year as part of the Eid celebrations, the noblemen of the city decorate their horses and ride to the Emir’s palace to swear allegiance to him. There are other displays of culture like drumming, dancing and shooting of local guns. But mostly, it is used to show that the Emir’s people are always ready to defend him if the need arises.

My dad and I witnessed the second day of the Durbar festival where the noblemen rode out in style. It was so beautiful to watch each family came out in their own unique colors. It was obvious that the people of Kano had a great time and loved the festival very much because they were out in the streets in great numbers. After the noblemen rode out, the emir rode out to greet them as well. There was also local drummers and dancing. All in all, it was a joyous occasion and wonderful celebration of culture.

At the end of the festival, my Dad turned to me and said, "do you want to get on a horse?". I wish you could have seen my face light up in that moment. I replied, "really?". He said, "well, we can ask them". I was so excited the palace people said yes and I got to ride a Durbar horse! This was definitely an unforgettable experience.

The Durbar is definitely one of the most beautiful festivals in Nigeria. This festival takes place all over the emirate of Nigeria so also cities like Illorin, Sokoto, Bauchi, Zaria, Maiduguri and other parts of Northern Nigeria.

I hope the country gets safer and we can all attend more festivals in Nigeria soon.

You can also watch a video I made of my Durbar experience on Instagram here

1 Comment

ray_light 44
ray_light 44
Nov 08, 2021

Before Hawan Daushe there‘s also Hawan Idi(Eid) which is on the day of Eid.

And then after Hawan Daushe there’s Hawan Nasarawa which is a visit to the Government House on the horse and then Hawan Fanisau or Dorayi, which is a visit to the kings palace in Fanisau or Dorayi depending on where the king decides to visit.

The king usually goals to Fanisau during Eid al-Fitr(the first Eid) and then goes to Dorayi during Eid al-Adha(the second Eid)


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.


In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.


That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page