Ghana

Festivals

This is the annual festival of the people of Sandema in the Builsa. It is held in December. It is celebrated through the display of war dance by various communities. There is also a durber of the chiefs and people to climax it.

It is held at Paga, Chiana, Kayoro in the Page/Chiana and Kayoro Traditional Areas between November and February. It is a thanksgiving offering for good harvest.

During the festival, the people display stalks of their first harvest of millet as a sign of sacrifice, and thankfulness to the gods.

This festival of Islamic origin is celebrated in all the Traditional Areas of the Northern Region. This festival signifies the end of 29 to 30 days of fasting, it comes off on the first day of the lunar month of Konyurichugu, i.e. March every year. It is meant to offer thanks to Allah for having guided the faithful throughout the month of Ramadan (fasting) and to seek favours for the coming year.

The fasting is done to tune up the minds of Muslims to appreciate hunger and therefore will be in a better position to respond to beggars and strangers when they come asking for sloes or favours.

This festival is celebrated in Wassa Akropong by the Chiefs and people of the Wassa West Traditional Area. This festival is celebrated in January every year, it fosters unity among the people and hence brings peace to the area.

This festival is celebrated in Wa by the Chiefs and people in of the Wala Paramouncy. The Dumba festival is celebrated in September or October every year, it serves as an occasion to unite the people of the area, renew their commitment to Islam and commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.Interestingly, the Wa Na is believed to prolong his life if he successfully jumps over a cow.

This festival is celebrated in all the Kwahu communities, it is a festival of the Chiefs and people which comes off every year. Though traditionally a Christian celebration of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, it serves as a homecoming for the Kwahus. It was instituted to renew their commitment to the Christian faith.

Dipo is celebrated in April by the people of Manya and Yilo Krobo in the towns of Krobo Odumase and Somanya, about 80 kilometres north of Accra.
The mode of celebration is that, adolescent girls are adorned in beautiful beads and half-clothed. The festival initiates such girls into womanhood

Damba celebrated by the Mamprusis. The main venue of the celebration is Bawku and its environs. It is held between the months of July and August. Originally linked with Islam to mark the birth of Mohammed, the festival has gradually taken on a traditional rather than Islamic tone. The 2-day festival is full of pageantry and showmanship and is celebrated in the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland and Nanumbaland.

This festival is celebrated by the Dagombas in the Northern Region. The festival comes off on the ninth appearance of the new moon each year. During the festival fire bands are made from grass and used to chase each other, it is believed that such burns do not cause wounds, this festival provides useful entertainment for the people and helps them to trace their ancestry.

This festival is celebrated in Kpando by the Chiefs and people of Akpini Traditional Area. It is celebrated in the last week of August every year and attracts lovers of music and the citizens of the developments of the district.

This festival is celebrated in Jirapa by the Chiefs and people of the Jirapa Traditional Area. This is celebrated in the last week of April every year, the festival lifts the taboo or the ban on the harvesting of the Dawadawa crop; Dawadawa was the food for the slaves and slave raiders, without this festival it is a taboo to harvest Dawadawa.

Bagri Festival is celebrated in Jirapa, Lawra and Nandom by the people Chiefs and people of Lawra and Nandom, It is a festival of cult and ritualistic performances from April to January, the festival and ritualistic performances associated with the Bagri are meant to purify the people of and the state.Bagri is a cult which produces the members of the area.

The Ayerye festival is celebrated in Saltpond by the Chiefs and people of the Nkusukum Traditional Area in Saltpond Nakesido (Lower Saltpond). This festival comes off in November every year, the festival also brings together the people of the area for development and facilitates recognition and respect for elders of the society.

The Awubia festival is celebrated in Awutu Beraku in the Central Region by the people of the Awutu Traditional Areas. A festival of Chiefs and people which comes off from the last week of August to the first week of September annually. This festival ensures promotes healthy agricultural competition amongst the people, unites the people and signifies the end of the farming season and the harvest period of the agricultural produce.

The Apour festival is celebrated in Nwoase and Nsawkwa by the Chiefs and people of Nwoase and Wenchi Traditional Areas, this festival of Chiefs and people comes off in either May or June at Nsawkaw, November or December at Nwoase and April, May or June at Wenchi. This festival unifies the people and helps them to eschew indecent lifestyles and evil, the festival also commemorates the rejection of the peoples’ former ways.

The Avazorli festival is celebrated in Ziavi, Etodome, Botoku, Kpedze and Mafi by the Chiefs and people of Ekwamkrom. A festival of Chiefs and people which is held once every two years in November, this festival is held to celebrate the people’s triumphant exodus from the tyrannical of King Agorkoli of Notsie. This festival preserves their history of migration from Notsie in present day Togo.

All Traditional areas in Ghana are identified with special festivals, which make the people very distinct from other ethnic groups. The Asafotufiami Festival of the people of Ada Traditional area in the Dangme East District is a rich cultural heritage celebrated annually in the first week of August.

The festival is a remembrance of the achievements in the wars for settlement fought by our ancestors, hence the name “ASAFOTUFIAMI”. “ASAFOTU”, as the name implies, is company firing of musketry.

According to tradition, the celebration starts from Thursday in the first week of every August with the arrival of guests from other places to the town with house cleaning ceremony and poring of libation at the respective shrines of the various families and keeping of vigil.

At dawn of Friday, as part of the schedule for the celebration, the two companies (Asafo) beat their respective drums to summon their members for the onward march to LUHUESE (a suburb of Ada) on the outskirt of Big Ada where they are camped and according to ancient custom, all young men who attain the age of puberty will then be initiated into their respective Asafo companies by being taught how to handle, load a gun and fire some for the first time.

This festival is celebrated in Sefwi Bekwai and Sefwi Wiawso. This festival is celebrated by the Chiefs and people of Sefwi Bekwai and Sefwi Wiawso , it is held in November or December every year, the festival brings together people to plan the development of the people and sews bonds of friendship and unity.

This Akwasidae Tuntuml is celebrated in Kukuom by the Chiefs and people of the Kukuom traditional areas, It comes off on the 9th and final Akwasidae on the Akan Calender in December or January. The festival is held to re-affirm the people’s commitment to the chief and also to commemorate the sad events of the Ebirimoro war between the Sefwis and Ahafos in the 18th century.

The Akwasidae is a religious festival of the Asante’s which is celebrated every six(6) weeks or 42 days.
On that day the Asante king comes out of the palace on a palanquin adorned in gold ornaments to receive the homage of his sub-chiefs and people.

It is a very colourful ceremony that lasts the whole day and it is held at the Manhyia palace which is the Asantehene residence

The Akwantukese festival is celebrated by the Chiefs and people of the New Juaben Traditional Areas. It comes off between the months of July and September each year. This festival promotes the cultural life of the people and is also held to commemorate the historical exodus of the people of New Juaben from the Ashanti to the East in the 1870’s.

The people of Agona in the Central Region celebrate the Akwambo festival literally meaning “path-clearing”. The Asafo companies weed footpaths leading to the streams or rivers, farms and other communal places, as well as paths, which lead to shrines.

The following day, the whole community assembles at the ancestral shrines and the chief pours libation to the ancestral spirits to thank them for their protection during the previous year and then request for more blessing, abundant rainfall and good harvest for the ensuing year.

At the stream or riverside where some of the sacrifices are offered, alligators and other species of fish come out to enjoy the mashed yams sprinkled on the water.

This festival is celebrated in Wassa Akropong by the Chiefs and people of the Wassa West Traditional Area. The Akpa festival is celebrated in January every year, it fosters unity among the people and hence brings peace to the area.

The Akomase festival is celebrated by the Chiefs and people of the Senya Beraku Traditional Areas in Senya Beraku in the Central Region. This festival comes off from the last Friday of August to the first Wednesday of September yearly. It is a agricultural festival which celebrates the bountiful blessings from the gods and ancestors culminating into good yields, the festival signifies the end of the farming season and ushers in the time to harvest fish and farm produce.

The Ahoba festival is celebrated by the people of the Gomoa and Nyaakrom Traditional areas. This festival is always celebrated in the 2nd week of May annually. During the festival the people come together to in remembrance of Asafo Ahor who gave up himself to be sacrificed to stop an epidemic.

This festival is celebrated in Avenor by the Chiefs and people of Anlo Traditional Area. A festival of Chiefs and people which comes off in the first week of November, the grand durbar falls on the first Saturday of November every year. The Agbeliza festival celebrates the history of migration to their present location, it also serves as a re-enactment and total affirmation of the rich history of the Anlos.

This festival is celebrated in the Agborortime area by the Chiefs and people of Agortime Traditional Area in Kpetoe. It is a festival held to celebrate the uniqueness of the Kente cloth and falls in the first week of September yearly. The festival creates marketing avenues for the Kente cloth, unites the citizenry and also reasserts the self-esteem of the people as the originators of the Kente cloth

A festival of the Chiefs and people of the Yeji Traditional Area which’s date of celebration is dependant on the Nananom every year. This festival unites the people, ushers in new developmental projects and serves as a period of assessment of the activities of the outgoing year.

This festival is celebrated in Hwidiem by the Chiefs and people of the Hwidiem Traditional Area. The Adinkafo festival is celebrated annually in either March or April. The festival commemorates the migration of the Hwidiem people from Denkyira Ntomu, there are sacrifices of food and animals to the gods and ancestors.

This is a very important, albeit rare celebration of the Ashanti’s. It is held in a large open space in the capital city of Kumasi. The festival is normally well attended and embraced by Ashanti’s from all walks of life.
Basically, the Adae Kese celebrations are magnified forms of Sunday Adae festivals, celebrated every six weeks in accordance with the Akan calender which is based on a cycle of forty- two days and nine months in a year. Invariably, the last Akwasidae festival is set aside for the celebration of Adae Kese.

“Aboakyere” literally means game hunting. This popular festival celebrated on the first Saturday of May by the Chiefs and people of Winneba. The festival begins with a competitive hunt between two traditional warrior groups in a nearby game reserve, where each tries to catch a live deer. The winner presents the catch to the Paramount Chief who sits in states with the sub-Chiefs and subjects.

The Abene (purification) festival is celebrated by the Chiefs and people of the Abene the traditional capital of the Kwahu’s. During the festival ancestral spirits are invoked for unification and development of the people and the area respectively.

The Chiefs and people of Tema.
Kplejoo is a festival for the gods during which both the gods and people are purified. The festival falls either in March or April depending on the position of the moon and lasts for a full month.

During this festival, the gods are pacified by slaughtering either a sheep or a cow to prevent accidents and bad omen that may befall the state in the coming year.

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