The Top Festivals in Ghana
Ghana's Top Festivals
In Ghana, there are fascinating festivals all year long that you should attend at least once in your lifetime. Traditional festivities have a fascinating cultural and historical proclivity to erupt. Festivals of art, food, and music bring with them a creative dynamism, great street flavors, and fascinating distinctive rhythms! Here are our top recommendations.
In Ghana, there are over 70 prominent yearly traditional festivals, which are held to commemorate harvest seasons (the most prevalent variety, usually after the rainy season), migration or territory expansion history, stool cleaning, and other events. Such gatherings strengthen family and communal relationships while celebrating many cultures and infusing spirituality in the participants.
Homowo – May
Homowo is one of Ghana's greatest festivities, held every year in May in the capital, Accra. Its history is one of a season of sadness due to starvation, followed by a great harvest of plant food and fish, as such homowo – referring to the act of 'hooting at hunger'. The Ga Traditional space chiefs sprinkle kpokpoi, a distinctive street snack made from cornmeal and palm oil. Folk singing, libation pouring, and litanies to the gods for another sound season are all part of the festivities.
Aboakyir – May
Every first Saturday in May, the Effutu-Winneba people observe Aboakyir, which literally means "game collecting." Tuafo and Denkyefo Asafo tribes lead a parade into the forest for a competitive deer hunt (previously a leopard hunt), followed by ceremonies to appease the gods. Following this, a large durbar with the chiefs, queen mothers, and elders is held to enliven the ceremonial and cultural event.
Bakatue – July
Bakatue, which is celebrated by the inhabitants of Elmina, represents the 'process of discharge' when the Benya Lagoon merges with the sea to begin the fishing season. There are numerous actions that are vital in honoring the deities – who are the agents of reinforcement for the fishing community. The 'net casting' ceremony, in which the catch is offered to the gods, is one example. Elmina celebrates it on the first Tuesday of July every year. The celebrations include a colorful durbar of chiefs and people surrounded by drumming and dancing, as well as a colorful display of canoes on the lagoon.
Asafotufiam – August
From the end of July to the beginning of August, the people of Ada in the eastern regions of the Greater Accra region recall past wins and defeats against Asafotufiam. Ceremonial rituals are also undertaken to usher in the harvest season. A mock war spectacle with elaborate costumes, stool cleaning procedures and libation, durbars amid processions with leaders in palanquins, and music and dance with men and women decorated in variegated beads are all part of the festivities.
Oguaa Fetu Afahye – September
Visit Fetu Afahye on Cape Coast in early September for the distinctive durbar and warrior group (asafo) processions. To demonstrate gratitude to the 77 deities in the area, ritual functions such as libation and livestock sacrifice are observed. Prior to the occasion, there is a restriction on drumming, music, and noise-making, same as there is in the Ga Traditional region.
Fishing in the Fosu lagoon has also been halted. On magnificent days, there is drumming and dancing by women, as well as men and children dressed in kente and gold decorations, and processions by chiefs and elders in palanquins carrying enormous umbrellas and sceptres. There are also Amuntumadeze (health day) and Adamma (rituals day) celebrations.
Hogbetsotso – September
The Anlo Ewes escaped from monarch Agorkoli's reign of terror to Notsie by going backwards to avoid their pursuers. Every September, Hogbetsotso is held to commemorate this exodus. Aside from stool purification and environmental cleaning exercises, it is also a chance for peace to be made.
Akwasidae – Once every six weeks
During the special Sunday cultural experience known as Akwasidae, Manhyia Palace opens its doors to everyone and sundry. The Ashanti monarchy is known for its elaborately structured customs that serve to enhance the relationships between queen mothers, chiefs, sub-chiefs, elders, and the people. The palanquin lift is accompanied by horn sounds and fontomfrom thumps, and the kete or adowa dance adds to the colorfully ornamented kente with gold trinkets.
Music, Food and Art Festivals
CHALE WOTE Festival
The colorful CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival, which drew over 30,000 people last year, highlights exchanges in Accra's streets between Ghana-based artists/educators and foreign partners. The multidisciplinary community-based experience takes place in Jamestown, one of Accra's most historic communities that served as a port for migration, commerce, and incarceration throughout the days of colonialism's exploitation and systematization.
It is a dynamic, innovative platform for reconnecting with intuitive concepts intended for free form call-and-response expressions through performance, discussions, and cultural extensions. The seventh annual CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival, themed Wata Mata, will take place in Accra, Ghana from August 14th to August 20th, 2022.
Sabolai is a must-see African indie music extravaganza that takes place in Accra every December. There's the best creative music from the mainstream and alternative scenes, from the contemporary scape to traditional tableau, fusions, and non-traditional streams. Its eighth year is approaching, and we are excited to jam with you at the centre of the planet.
Nkabom Literary Festival
Nkabom Literary Festival seeks to connect poets, novelists, and spoken word artists with photographers, DJs, painters, illustrators, theatre artists, musicians, and others, with the interweaving of various content expanding the boundaries that writing in general is supposed to achieve. This year's theme is 'Unscrambling Africa,' and it takes place in Accra from August 23rd to August 26th.
Accra Food Festival
Foodies from Accra and around the world gather to sample delectable food in a variety of sampling tents at reasonable pricing. Conventional and non-traditional cuisines deliver the best of Ghanaian and international cuisine in a comfortable setting. Accra's kid-friendly festival, now in its fourth year, promises to be a gastronomic paradise on September 23rd and 24th, 2022 from 11am to 7pm.
The Pan-African Festival of Art and Culture highlights historical and cultural legacies and endowments. PANAFEST was founded in the mid-1980s by the late Efua Sutherland as an effort to inspire homecoming for Africans all over the world. On May 23rd, Roy 'Gramps' Morgan, a key member of the US-based family reggae group Morgan Heritage, was named an Ambassador of the 2017 Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival. The 2022 version, commemorating the 30th anniversary, begins on July 25th.
Allow Away to Africa to show you the unseen beauties of Ghana on this diverse cultural and musically inspired journey with Afrochella!
Away to Africa will begin your cultural journey in Accra and take you to Cape Coast, Volta Region, Hohoe, Aburi Mountain, and many other gems of Ghana. Afrochella, which takes place just a few days before the New Year, celebrates Africa's diverse culture through fashion, art installations, and music. Relax and dance your heart out on Accra's stunning beaches while creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience with new friends.
Photo by Jay Eshie on Unsplash
Photo by Emmanuel Offei on Unsplash