An annual celebration to mark beginning of the fishing season in Argungu, Kebbi State, is one of the most popular cultural festivals in Nigeria. Bare-hand fishing competition among over 1,000 Fishermen, each equipped with hand net and large gourd, is the main event of this cultural extravaganza. For a whole year preceding the festival, fishing is prohibited on this section of the Sokoto River, the venue of the festival and traditional ‘rituals’ are performed to prevent fishes from migrating to neighboring waters. Prizes are awarded to fishermen with the biggest catches. Since 1940, the scope of the festival has been expanded to include various contests – traditional water sports, wild duck catching, swimming, diving, wrestling, arts/craft exhibition, agricultural show and traditional entertainment. The Argungu Motor Rally is another interesting feature of the festival.
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