201108-p1590127

When Ramadan ended this year, I joined some friends to watch the annual Ramadan horse parade outside the sultan’s palace.

201108-p1590050

As we approached Le Sultanat, we met a hoard of motorcycle taxis so tense it blocked the road. Although we were on time, we were afraid we’d missed the parade, but the motorcycle taxis were bringing people back from mosque.

201108-p1590128

We parked the cars and found a good place to watch…

201108-p15900591

201108-p1590107

It did not take long before the first horses arrived!

201108-p1590062

Beautiful horses, dressed in their finest Hausa attires, with their riders matching in feast cloths…

201108-p1590061

201108-p1590081

Time stood still as we enjoyed watching one fancy equipage after another!

201108-p1590076

The sultan’s men were easily distinguished by the red&green or red&blue attire,

201108-p1590064

…and many of their horses (all of them stallions) were trained to prance and/or rear.

201108-p1590088

All sorts of beautiful riders & horses passed by,

201108-p1590074

…and the saying goes that the Sultan will not appear before at least 150 horses have walked before him.

201108-p1590098

Many of the riders were part of the sultan’s wide extended family,

201108-p1590093

…but anyone with a horse was welcome to join the parade.

201108-p1590108

The horses however were not the only object of interest! :-)

201108-p1590103

Once the desired number of riders had passed, the sultan’s parasol appeared in the background.

201108-p1590110

201108-p15901111

This part of course went very quick,

201108-p1590113

…as the sultan, who is royalty, greeted the crowd on both sides.

201108-p15901161

A lot of people followed on foot behind (and a few horses),

201108-p1590118

…and we could have lingered a long time taking pictures of all the beautiful details surrounding us,

201108-p1590125

…but the celebrations were continuing elsewhere and so we too followed.

Stayed tuned for Part II of the 2011 Zinder Ramadan Parade!

To see what’s taking place
in other corners of the world,
visit OurWorld!