Ce festival annuel haut en couleur se tient Ă Arugungu depuis 1934, et plus de 5000 pĂȘcheurs participent.
This colorful annual festival takes place in Arugungu,("ar-GOON-goo"), a riverside town in Kebbi State, about 64 miles from Sokoto. The leading tourist attraction in the area, the festival originated in Aug. 1934, when the late Sultan Dan Mu'azu made an historic visit. In tribute, a grand fishing festival was organized. Since then, it's become a celebrated yearly event held between Feb. and March. During the festival, hundreds of local men and boys enter the water, armed with large fishnet scoops.
They are joined by canoes filled with drummers, plus men rattling huge seed-filled gourds to drive the fish to shallow waters. Vast nets are cast and a wealth of fish are harvested, from giant Nile Perch to the peculiar Balloon Fish. Furthermore there's canoe racing, wild duck hunting, bare-handed fishing, diving competitions and naturally, swimming. Afterwards, there is drinking, singing and dancing into the night.
The festival marks the end of the growing season and the harvest. A one mile (1.6 kilometer) stretch of the Argungu River is protected throughout the year, so that the fish will be plentiful for this 45-minute fishing frenzy.
About 5,000 men take part, armed with hand nets and a large gourd. During the alloted time, they fight for the fish in the river. Nile perch weighing up to 140 pounds (63.5 kg) are pulled out of the river, and the biggest are offered to the local Emirs who organize the festival. This festival began in the 1930s and has captured the nation's interest. It now includes many other events, such as canoe races and diving competition.