The Nok settlement
The Nok settlement is located in the Jabi LGA within a rock-shelter in which remains of granaries can be found. The Nok settlement was where the famous terracotta figurines of the Nok civilisation, one of Africa's oldest, were first unearthed.
The discovery was made by Bernard Fagg, a British archaeologist employed by the Nigerian government in the 1940s. Fagg lived at the Nok site and the remains of his house are also at the site and serve as a tourist attraction.
The Kagoro hills are situated in Kagoro Town, near Kafanchan in the southern part of the state. The hills form a long range, with tall trees and rocky places at their base and various settlements on their tops.
The area enjoys a temperate climate similar to that of the Jos Plateau. It is suitable for rock climbing and hunting and has beautiful scenery for picnics and relaxation.
Kamuku National Park
The Kamuku National Park is located in Birnin-Gwari along the Kaduna-Lagos Road. Originally established in 1936 as the Native Authority Forest Reserve of Birnin Gwari, it covers an area of 1,120 square kilometres. It is home to a variety of animals, including lions, ostriches, baboons, snakes, roan antelopes and elephants, as well as the Gwari and Kamuku people (traditional farmers, hunters, pastoralists and craftsmen noted for their weaving, mat making and pottery).
General Hassan Usman Park
General Hassan Usman Park is situated at the end of Swimming Pool Road, Kabala-East, Kaduna. The entrance point to the park is the Gamji Gate (known locally as Kofar Gamji). The park, which was used as a garden during the colonial period, is filled with trees and various other plants. Small islands dot the River Kaduna which flows through it. A mixture of modern and traditional architectural designs and sculptures further enhances the beauty of the park.
National Museum, Kaduna
The National Museum in Kaduna was established in 1975. The museum's collections include ethnographic, archaeological and contemporary crafts. It has permanent exhibitions on Nigerian prehistory, the ethnography of the peoples of Northern Nigeria and modern craft products.
Zaria City Walls
These walls surround Zaria City and are between fourteen and sixteen kilometres long. Eighteen magnificent gates serve as entrance ways into the city. The walls were built with mud and were designed to provide security from invading forces during pre-colonial period. It is believed that the original Zaria City walls were named after Queen Amina.
The Zaria City walls remain one of the most impressive monuments among the cities of Northern Nigeria and a big tourist attraction.
Emir of Zazzau's Palace
This palace is situated inside the ancient city of Zazzau (located within Zaria). It is made of mud and features designs typical of traditional Habe architecture. The palace is surrounded by high walls with beautifully constructed gates, one of which separates the residential area of the emir and his family from his emirate offices.
The Durbar festival dates back hundreds of years to when the northern used horses in warfare. During this period, each town, district, and nobility household was expected to contribute a regiment towards the defence of the emirate. Once or twice a year, the emirate military chiefs invited the various regiments for a Durbar (military parade) for the emir and his chiefs. During the parade, regiments would showcase their horsemanship, their preparedness for war and their loyalty to the emirate. Today, the Durbar has become a festival celebrated in honour of visiting heads of state and at the culmination of the two great Muslim festivals: Id-el Fitri (commemorating the end of the holy month of Ramadan) and Id-el Kabir (commemorating Prophet Ibrahim's sacrifice of a ram in place of his son).
This festival is celebrated by the Kagoro people of 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 various other activities. The hills are of great significance to the people of Kagoro as they believe that they protected them from their enemies. The festival is celebrated with much solemnity and in accordance with historical details.
After sanctifying the hills, a hunting expedition takes place early in the morning of the following day. The hunters climb to a place called Jiyo (trouble) which they surround and set on fire (an act referred to as ‘burning the hill') before beginning their expedition.
The festival has now been merged with the New Year celebration and the hunters now dress in traditional hunting attire symbolizing the return from the first hunting expedition of the year. Other features of the festival include traditional dancers, shows by the Boys and Girls Brigades and many other colourful activities.
The present-day annual Tuk-Ham festival is a fusion of the Ku and Fain festivals which were celebrated by the forebears of the Ham (Jaba) people and takes place in Kwoi (187 kilometres from Kaduna). It features traditional and cultural displays, dances, “Juju” and a gala night. It is usually celebrated during the Easter season over a two-day period and is normally preceded by a symposium and the Tir-Ham (Miss Jaba) competition.
Kalankuwa Cultural Festival
Kalankuwa, celebrated in the northern part of the state, is a thanksgiving festival that takes place after the harvest season (usually in November or December). It entails young men and women coming together in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere to entertain themselves.
Kaduna State Festival of Arts and Culture
This is an annual festival organized by the Kaduna State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It is a forum at which all of the twenty-three LGAs of the state, as well as private cultural organisations, can showcase their culture in order to promote unity and encourage tourism within the state. It takes place annually either in November or December.
Apart from these festivals, there are others celebrated in various parts of the state such as Tuk-Gwong, the Baranzan (Bajju), the Bakulu (Ikulu), the Anghan (Kamantan), the Adara (Kadara), the Aninkon (Kaninko), the Moroa, the Ninzo, the Kataf and the Attakad. Most of them take place in January, with a few at the end of the year and some in April or May.