Afan Festival Kaduna State

Afan Festival

This festival is celebrated by the Kagoro people in the Southern part of Kaduna State. ‘Afan’ means mountain or hill and the festival marks the end of the annual harvest of grains and the beginning of the hunting expeditions as well as other numerous activities. The hills have great significance to the people of Kagoro as they believe that the hills protected them from their enemies. The festival is thus celebrated with the greatest solemnity, according to historical details. After sanctifying the hills, the hunting expedition is organized early in the morning of the following day.

All the hunters will climb to the top of the hill to a place called ‘JIYO’ (trouble) where they surround the place and set it on fire. This is called ‘burning the hill’ and it is then that the hunting starts. At the end of the hunting expedition, the hunters return home shouting and jubilating ‘O ‘Afan’ ‘O ‘Afan’ ‘O ‘Afan’.

The festival has now been merged with the new year celebration (January 1) as the hunters now dress in traditional hunting attire symbolizing the return from the first hunting expedition of the year. Other processional features of the festival include traditional dancers like ‘Kodai’, ‘Dodo’ dancers, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade and many other colourful activities, which add beauty and colour to the event.

Afan Festival

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