The Eked Al-Khail is a popular folklore in Libya based on displaying decorated horses and poems that sing noble qualities such as courage, generosity, loyalty and strength.
The Eked Al-Khail festivals are held on important occasions such as marriage ceremonies or the celebration of a new baby, national holidays and occasions, and even the celebration of one of the son’s graduation from the university. It is simply an expression of joy and pleasure.
During the Eked Al-Khail festival in Libya, people gather at a famous horse track to watch the riders race and show off their riding skills. The reason for these celebrations, according to the locals, is due to the pride in the history of their Arab ancestors, especially from the Bani Sulaym tribe, and their arrival to North Africa during the eleventh century AD, and what they fought during their arduous journey of hardships, wars, and tournaments against the central authority and other tribes in their quest for independence with their feudal.
The Al-Khail folklore is simply an ancient cultural legacy that connects the people here with their ancestors. Bani Sulaym is an Arab tribe from the giant branch of Qais Ailan. They were among the builders of the famous Arab state of the Nabataeans.
They were mentioned in several inscriptions (Sa – la -mo). The tribe was said in that inscriptions as a counterpart to the Nabateans, Where the name of the Nabataeans is not mentioned unless it is followed by the name Sa – la – mo, such as the Nabataean law and Sa – la – mo, the Nabataeans’ god and Sa – la – mo, the Nabataeans’ graves and Sa – la -mo … etc., meaning that the tribe has a significant role in that state.
During the eleventh century AD, the tribe migrated from the Hijaz towards North Africa at the instigation of the princes of Egypt to avenge the rebellion of the princes of Tunisia against them, exempting them from paying taxes and granting them almost complete independence in their feudal.
This is why the sons of the Arab tribe of Bani Sulaym constitute most of the population of the countries of Tunisia and Libya. However, this type of folklore exists in the rest of North African countries as well, such as Algeria and Morocco, where the Arabs there descend from tribes that came to the region with Bani Sulaym. Still, it differs slightly in terms of the clothes of the knights, and there is also an everyday use of guns during celebrations.