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Festivals

Importance of Festivals

Festivals are very important in several ways: historically, religiously, socially, economically, culturally, morally and politically in the lives of Ghanaians. See our timetable of festivals below.

Historically
It makes the people know more about their history. For instance, the Nyidwoo festival of the people of Esumegya makes the people and for that matter Asantes it know more about their origin. 

Also, the Homowo Festival reminds the people of Ga-Adangme to know much about how they have come out of hunger by settling at their present day area. It makes the people recollect the noble past of their ancestors, and to express their gratitude to them.

Religiously 
The people believe in the existence of the ancestral spirit, hence they ask for forgiveness of offence committed, petition the supernatural powers for material prosperity, peace and long life. There is continuity between the dead and the living.

Socially
It serves as reunion of family members, relatives and love ones. At this time, quarrels and misunderstandings are settled.
It provides a forum where marriages among people within a particular geographical area can be transacted.

The youth at this stage get the chance of arranging marriages, (to court). Besides, the period is characterised by merrymaking and entertainments.

Economically
It brings most of the citizens together. This helps them to initiate development projects and to contribute financially towards these projects. Visitors who also come to witness the festival contribute economically to the locality.

Politically
It gives the people chance to asses the efficiency of their chiefs. Most citizens who left the town for so long a time return to see whether the traditional ruler (the chief) had implemented development projects agreed upon.

Homage is paid to the chiefs. Sub-chiefs also renew their allegiance to their immediate boss. For example, local chiefs to paramount chief (Omanhene) and in Asante Omanhene to the Asantehene.

Government ministers even take advantage of the festival which has brought a lot of people (Citizens) together to announce development projects, government policies to the people and to educate them on important issues affecting the locality, town or an area.

Culturally 
The rich cultural heritage of the people are usually being manifested during festivals.

With the people of Asante chiefs, they may be decorated in the traditional Kente cloth gold ornaments and carried in a palanquin especially the Asantehene or the paramount chief (omanhene).

Ghanaian hospitality can also be seen in this regard. The ways the people speak and relate to others portray their culture of friendliness.

Morally

It strengthens all to play their roles as good citizens. It provides a forum where the chief must be more effective, morally upright, and
Accountable to the people. For instance, the Apoo festival celebrated by the chiefs and people of Techiman traditional area gives the people chance to talk about the inefficiencies of the chief as well as his ill doings.

It again reminds the youth to lead morally acceptable life so that, they may grow to become good people, whose lives are worthy of emulation by the future generation.
 

FESTIVAL

PLACE

PERIOD

Akwasidae

Manhyia, Kumasi

Every six weeks

Dodoleglime

Ve Traditional Area (Ve Traditional Area)

November

Dipo (puberty rite)

Odumase

February

Gmayem

Manya Krobos (Odumase)

October

Gologo

Talensi, Tong-Zuf

March

Aboakyer

Winneba

1st Sat. in May

Asafotufiam

Ada

July/August

Damba

Tamale, Wa

July/August

Bakatue

Elmina

1st Tues. in July

Akwambo

Agona Nyakrom/Agona Swedru

August

Epor

Lolobi-KumasiVolta Region

-

Fetu Afahye

Cape Coast

1st Sat in September

Kobine

Lawra

September

FESTIVALS IN GHANA

One of the most attractive aspects of the Ghanaian culture is 
the colorful traditional festivals and durbars which are held
yearly in all parts of the country. These festivals reveal some
common features and beliefs of our society. Through the
festivals, the people remember their ancestors and ask for
their protection. Festivals are also held in order to purify
the whole state so that people can enter the New Year with
confidence and hope. Below are some major festivals to which
you are invited.

A Description of a few of the major festivals in Ghana



ABOAKYIR (Deer hunting)

A hunting expedition by two Asafo groups to catch live
antelope. The first group to present its catch to the Chief at
a colorful durbar is declared winner and is highly regarded for
bravery. Winneba, 17 miles west of Accra.
May.




BAKATUE (Fish Harvesting)

A royal procession of chiefs and stool holders riding in
palanquins through principal streets to a sacred shrine where
chiefs pour libation and sprinkle sacred food. Pouring of
mashed yam and eggs into the Bake (lagoon), followed by
scooping with a net, after which permission is given to
fishermen to open the fishing season, after a ban. Festival
culminates in a regatta. Edina/Elmina, 99 miles west of Accra.
July.








FETU AFAHYE (Harvest commemorating first contact with whites)
A colorful procession of chiefs, amid drumming, dancing andfiring of musketry. There is a uniqueness in the attire.
Sacrifice of a cow to the seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa.
Cape Coast (Oguaa), 90 miles west of Accra.
August/September.

HOMOWO (Harvest/Thanksgiving)

Ceremonies for this festival include a procession of chiefs
through principal streets with all twins in the area dressed
purposely for the occasion. All this is done amidst the
sprinkling of festive food kpokpoi to the gods and ancestors of
the state.
Accra/Ga Traditional Area.
August/September.

DAMBA
Originally linked with the birth of Mohammed, the Prophet of
Allah. This festival has assumed a traditional character A two-
day festival full of pageantry, showmanship and horse riding.
Tamale/Yendi, 425 miles north of Accra.
September/October.



HOGBETSOTSO
Symbolizes the migration of Anlos from the tyrannical ruler of
Notsie in older day Togoland to their present homeland in
Ghana. There is a re-enactment of this migration, which
involved walking backwards, performed by women, children, the
old and the young alike.
Anlo Traditional Area, 88 miles east of Accra.
November.



FIOK (War festival)

A war festival to re-enact ancient historic exploits of the
Busa people. There is a durbar, as well as drumming, dancing,
and thanksgiving to the gods.
Sandema.
December.



ADAE (festival of Purifying of the Ashantis' ancestral stools)

Festival of the Asante. Celebrated every 40th day. Especially
magnificent when it falls on a Sunday.
Kumasi, 168 miles (272 kilometers) north of Accra.







ODWIRA (Harvest/Thanksgiving)

This festival dramatizes the tradition myths and legends of the

people, and commemorates a period of remembrance and
thanksgiving to the gods for their mercies in the past year,
and renewal of family and societies. A durbar of chiefs crowns
the celebration amidst drumming and dancing.
Akropong Traditional Area, 90 miles north of Accra.
September.
Adae Kese Festival

("big resting place") is a celebration of the Ashanti. It glorifies the achievements of the Asante kingdom.It is  also the occasion when the purification ceremony of Odwira is performed at the burial shrines of ancestral spirits. Generally, this coincides with the harvest season of yam and hence the ritual was also called the "Yam custom" by Europeans.