THE ARGUNGU FISHING FESTIVAL

Argungu is a town and a Local Government area in Kebbi State of Nigeria.

The main occupation of its people are farming and fishing. It is majorly populated by Hausas and Fulanis. There are two rivers which cuts through the town; the Niger River which runs from Benin to Ngaski local government area and the Rima River which runs through Argungu to Bagudo LGA.

As far as the fishermen are concerned, there is a major festival which takes place in the state and it attracts a large turnout of people from various locations across the globe.

The great Argungu fishing festival is one for all ages. It dates back to as far as 1934, it was first held as a festival to mark the end of centuries-long hostilities between the Kebbi Kingdom and Sokoto Caliphate.

The Argungu festival marks the end of the planting season and the harvesting of the produce.

The games which sees the man or woman with the biggest fish caught in the River given a price is one of great joy.

In the festival , the over 30,000 participating fishermen and women dive into the River Mata Fada at the sound of the gunshot and try to swim the length and breadth of the river in other to catch the biggest fish available.

Their efforts are heralded by thousands of cheering crowds at the bank of the River.

There is traditional music of drums and flutes been played from boats and canoes which accompany the fishermen and women into the River while the games are on.

The person who catches the biggest fish goes home with a whopping $7,500.

In 2005, the winning fish weighed a whole 75kg and it took 2 heavy bodied men to lift the fish up to the weighing scale. Till date, it has been the biggest fish caught in the festival.

Their are other side attractions which includes canoe racing, wild duck hunting,diving and swimming competitions.

This is a place in Nigeria you would like to visit during the festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Nigeria.

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