LIST OF SOME MAJOR FESTIVALS

January February March April May June
           
July August September October November December
           

January

Bugum Festival
Although the Bugum Festival was also linked with Islam, it has become a major event on the traditional calendar too. It commemorates the flight of Naiyul-Lah Mohammed from Mecca into exile in Medina in AD658. The festival is celebrated in Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumba. The events begin withprocessions from neighbouring villages. By nightfall, all the villagers converge at the Chief's palace withlighted torches. Following special invocations by the Chief, the ceremony illuminate the streets. Festive drumming and dancing continue until the early hours of the morning.

Edina Buronya Festival
This is the native version of Christmas which is exclusively celebrated by the people of Elmina (Edina) on the first Thursday of the New Year. The festival was influenced by the Portuguese settlers who celebrated a similar event every January. For the people of Edina, it is a period of purification, sacrifices to the gods, remembrance of the dead, and the welcoming of a new year. Families pour libations and invite friends to participate in dining, and merry-making, throughout the town.

Rice Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Akpafu, in the Volta Region.

Kpini-Kyiu & Tenghana Festivals
Is celebrated by the people of Wa & Tongu, in the Upper East Region.

Danso Abaim & Ntoa Fukokuese Festivals
Is celebrated by the people of Techimentia & Nkoranza, in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Apafram Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Akwamu, in the Eastern Region.



February

Papa Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Kumawu, in the Ashanti Region

Dzawuwu Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Dabala, in the Volta Region. It is an Annual traditional and thanksgiving festival of the Agave people.



March

Damba Festival
Originally linked with Islam to mark the birth of Mohammed, the festival has gradually taken on a traditional rather than Islamic tone. The two-day festival is full of pageantry and showmanship and is celebrated in the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland and Nanumbaland.

Ngmayem Festival
This is the annual traditional harvest and thanksgiving festival of the Krobo people. It is celebrated in March-April by the people of Manya and Yilo Krobo in the towns of Krobo Odumase and Somanya, in the Eastern Region.

Asikloe Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Anfoega, in the Volta Region.

Volo Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Akuse, In the Volta Region to commemorate the end of the exodus of the Volo people from Togo, forced to flee the tyranny of an impious ruler.

Lekoyi Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Likpe, in the Volta Region.

Kotokyikyi & Ogyapa Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Senya Beraku, in the Central Region.

Kurubie Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Namase, in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Lalue Kpledo Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Prampram, in the Greater Accra Region.

Gologo Festival
This festival is celebrated in March by the Talensis of Tong-Zug just before the planting of grain. During the three-day festival, sacrifices are offered to the gods for plentiful rain and good harvest.



April

Bugum, Serpeemi & Wodomi Festivals
Occasions for the people of Krobo, in the Eastern Region to assemble.

Dipo
A puberty festival by the people of Krobo (Somanya & Odumase), in the Eastern Region when girls at adolescent age are initiated into womanhood with a parade. The attire of the girls is close to nudity.



May

Aboakyir (Deer Hunt) Festival
"Aboakyir" literally, means "game hunting". This popular festival is celebrated on the first Saturday of May by the chiefs and people of Winneba. The festival begins with a competitive hunt between 2 traditional warrior groups in a nearby game reserve, where each tries to catch an antelope live. It is an adventurous event to test the strength, bravery, determination and intuition of the 2 rival groups. The winner presents the catch to the Paramount Chief who sits in state with the sub-chiefs and subjects. The antelope is sacrificed as an invocation for good harvest and a bountiful fishing season. A durbar and procession of the chiefs and warrior groups in their colouful regalia is the highlight of the celebrations. Brass bands, dancing, performances of folklore and parties make this an unforgettable event.

Formerly involved capturing a leopard barehanded, the toll on human life eventually became so prohibitive that the divinity to whom the leopard was sacrificed was beseeched to accept a less dangerous substitute, and the leopard was replaced by an antelope.

Beng Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sonyo Kipo, in the Northern Region to honour the great fetish of the Gonja people.

Osudoku Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Asutsuare, in the Eastern Region to mark the beginning of the year.

Donkyi Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Namase, in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Don Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region.



June

Asafua Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Central Region in purification of the divinity of Asafua.

Ahumkan Festival
A celebration in which the local population of Akim-Kibi, in the Eastern Region to reaffirm their loyalty to their chieftains.

Gyenprem Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Fafo, in the Volta Region and marked by a durbar of thanksgiving for an abundant harvest and a year of peace.

Ahobaa Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Enyan-Kakraba-Saltpond, in the Central Region for obtaining the benediction of the ancestors.

Kete Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Central Region in honour of the Kete-Kyen fetish.

Ebisa Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Central Region in honour of the fetish of the same name.

Kli-Adzim Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Agbozume, in the Eastern Region in honour of the local divinity.

Ahoba Kuma Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Abura, in the Central Region.

Apiba Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Senya Beraku, in the Central Region.

Nkyidwo (Monday Night)
A very important festival celebrated annually by the people of Essumeja, in the Ashanti Region to commemorate their birth or how their ancestors emerged one Monday night from a hole in the ground followed by a dog and lion amid drumming, dancing and other activities. The gods are invoked for blessing, protection and prosperity of the people.



July

Bakatue Festival
Literally translated to mean "opening up of the Benya Lagoon into the sea", Bakatue symbolizes the
beginning of a fishing season, which is the main livelihood of the people of Elmina. It is celebrated annually in Elmina on the first Tuesday in July and originated centuries ago, long before the arrival of the Europeans. The splendid ceremonies include a durbar of chiefs, a colouful regatta of canoes on the Benya Lagoon and processions. A solemn "net casting" ceremony symbolizes the beginning of a new fishing season, and the catch is offered to the deities of the traditional area. You are invited to take part in the regatta and merry-making.

Bombei Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Western Region.

Ekyen Kofie Festival (Yam Festival)
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Western Region.

Kuntum Festival (Yam Festival)
Is celebrated by the people of Enyam-Maim, in the Central Region.

Wodomi Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Manya Krobo, in the Eastern Region.



August

Asafotu-Fiam Festival
"Asafotufiam" is an annual warrior's festival celebrated by the people of Ada, in the Greater Accra Region from the last Thursday of July to the first weekend of August. It commemorates the victories of the warriors in battle and those who fell on the battlefield. To re-enact these historic events, the "warrior" dresses in traditional battle dress and stage a mock battle. This is also a time when the young men are introduced to warfare. The festival also ushers in the harvest cycle, for this special customs and ceremonies are performed. These include purification ceremonies. The celebration reaches its climax in a durbar of chiefs, a colouful procession of the Chiefs in palanquins with their retinue. They are accompanied by traditional military groups called "Asafo Companies" amidst drumming, singing and dancing through the streets and on to the durbar grounds. At the durbar, greetings are exchanged between the chiefs, libations are poured and declarations of allegiance made.

Odambea Festival
"Odambea" is celebrated on the last Saturday of August by the "Nkusukum" chiefs and people of the Saltpond Traditional Area. This event commemorates the migration of the "Nkusukum" people centuries ago from Techiman (500km away) to their present settlement. "Odambea" means "fortified link", a name resulting from the role played by the "Nkusukum" people in keeping the migrant groups in touch with each other following their exodus from Techiman. A special feature of the festival is the re-enactment of the ancient life styles of the people, which will provide you with a unique opportunity to learn more about how they migrated.

Ahoba Kese Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Abura, in the Central Region.

Edim Kese Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Sekondi, in the Western Region.

Equadoto Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Ayeldu-Cape-Coast, in the Central Region in honour of their ancestors.

Homowo Festival
This is a harvest festival celebrated by the people of the Ga Traditional Area, in the Greater Accra Region. It originated from a period of great famine which was eventually followed by a bumper harvest in grain and fish. Thus, the word "Homowo", literally means "hooting at hunger". The main highlight of this month-long festival is the special dish prepared from ground corn, steamed and mixed with palm oil and eaten with palmnut soup. Prayers for a peaceful and prosperous year are offered. Each Ga chief is followed by a retinue with drumming, dancing and singing through his area where he sprinkles some of the special dish called "kpokpoi" and pours libation. It is merry-making for Gas, and visitors in particular are invited home to join in the feasting.

Apatwa Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Dixcove, in the Western Region (Lasts almost a month).

Awubia Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Awutu, in the Central Region in memory of their dead.

Kundum Festival
Kundum is celebrated from August to November by the Western Region's coastal tribes, the Ahantas and Nzemas. Beginning in August, the festival moves west from Takoradi to town after town at weekly intervals. Rituals include purification of the stools and prayers to the ancestors for a good harvest. Traditional drumming and dancing feature prominently.

Afenorto (Staying At Home)
This festival is celebrated annually by the people of Mepe, in the Volta Region to take stock of their lives, strengthen family and friendship bonds and pay homage to their ancestors through pouring of libation and funeral obsequies. It is also the period during which the people take stock of their lives and plan for the future; when young men meet their future spouses and pay homage to their ancestors through libations and undertake development projects.



September

Fetu Afahye Festival
It is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September by communities in the Cape Coast Traditional Area (Fetu). It is characterized by a durbar of chiefs and processions of "Asafo Companies" (traditional warrior groups) and numerous social organisations. Every member of the group is adorned in rich and colourful clothes, thus creating the grandeur of this festival which literally means "adorning of new clothes". A procession of the "7 Asafo Companies" in their unique costumes depicts a fusion of the "Fante" and European cultures, (typically, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish and British), which have been sustained over many centuries. Customary rites include the slaughter of a cow to the 77 Deities in the area to obtain their blessings.

Nkronu Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Shama/Beposo, in the Western Region. A very colourful festival and it involves purification of stools, prayer to ancestors for good harvest and long life.

Sometutuza Festival
Annual colourful festival of the "SOME" people of Agbozume, in the Eastern Region to commemorate the exodus from their original Home (Keta) and subsequent settlement at Agbozume. Activities of the festival include a display (exhibition) of different types of "Ewe Kente" cloth, traditional and woven textile.

Akwambo Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Enyam-Maim-Cape Coast, in the Central Region.

Ayerye Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Enyam-Maim-Cape Coast, in the Central Region.

Akyempem Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Agona, in the Ashanti Region.
Odwira Festival This festival is celebrated in most Akwapim towns during the months of September and October, with the most colourful festivities taking place at Akropong, Amanokrom and Aburi, in the Eastern Region. During "Odwira", the Chiefs sit in state and receive homage from the people.

The ceremonies include purification of the stools and performance of traditional rites. Libations are poured to the gods for prosperity and the general well-being of the people during the ensuing year. Drumming and dancing accompany the celebration.

Kobine Festival
This post-harvest festival gives thanks to the gods for a bountiful harvest. It is normally celebrated in the month of September by the Dagaaba people in the Upper West Region. The 3-day festival culminates in feasting and dancing.



October

Ohumkyire Festival
Is celebrated by the people of Kibi, in the Eastern Region.



November

Fao Festival
a harvest festival by the inhabitants in honour of their gods ? Paga, Upper East Region

Agumatsa Waterfalls Festival
This festival is celebrated in November by the people of the Wli Traditional Area, in the Volta Region. They give thanks to God for giving them the Wli Waterfalls, since its waters are used for practically all domestic purposes. There is dancing during the durbar, which usually starts at mid-day and officially ends around 5:00pm.

Hogbetsotso Festival
The "Anlo Ewes", an ethnic group on the eastern cost (Volta Region) of Ghana, are believed to have settled in Notsie in Togo when they first migrated from Southern Sudan. Legend has it that they escaped from the tyrannical ruler of Notsie, Ago-Koli, by walking backwards. In order to commemorate the exodus and the bravery of their traditional rulers who led them on the journey, the people created this annual "Festival of the Exodus". There are many ceremonies associated with the festival, including a peace-making period where all outstanding problems are supposed to be resolved. This is a purification ceremony of the traditional stool and a period of general cleaning when the villages are swept and rubbish burnt. This cleaning ceremony begins at the Volta Estuary and goes on for days until it finally reaches the Mono River in the Republic of Benin. An essential aspect of the festival is a durbar of chiefs and the people. Chiefs dress in very colouful regalia and sit in state to receive homage from their subjects. Dancing, singing and general merry-making go on throughout the festival. The main durbar always take place on the first Saturday of November in Anloga, in the Volta Region.

Kwafie Festival
The people of Dormaa Ahenkro, Berekum and Nsuatre, in the Brong Ahafo Region celebrate the "Kwafie Festival" between November and December. This events is celebrated in remembrance of the ancestors and it is also meant as purification. Among the many activities, the most interesting is the burning of a large bonfire in the courtyard. The Dormaas are reputed to have brought fire to Ghana and this legend is symbolically remembered through this bonfire. A durbar is also held during which homage is paid to the Paramount Chief by his sub-chiefs and subjects. It is a period when all descendants of the original Dormaas (who broke away from the Akwamus and migrated here) come home to a grand reunion. Like Apoo, this festival fosters a spirit of unity among the people. Highlights of the activities include a pageant of the royal courts with drumming, dancing and a display of the paraphernalia of the Chiefs.

Apoo Festival
"Apoo" is celebrated in Techiman and Wenchi, in the Brong Ahafo Region in November. It is a festival for the purification of the people to rid them of social evil. The festival lasts one week and includes a variety of recreational cultural activity. It ends on the sixth day with the "Apoo" procession, when insinuations are cast about the evil doings of some of the citizens. Even the Chief is not spared. This period is a time for family reunions and unity among the people. You are welcome to join the festivities.

Sasabobirim Festival
A week long annual festival of the people of Awuah Domase, in the Brong Ahafo Region. It is celebrated in remembrance of their brave chief who joined Yaa Asantewaa to fight the Europeans in the early part of the 20th century.



December

Eiok Festival
The annual "Fiok Festival" is celebrated by the Builsas of Sandema in December. This is a war festival which re-enacts the ancient heroic exploits of the Builsas. Amid drumming and dancing, the gods are invoked for protection and for a bountiful harvest.

*Most villages and towns in the Volta and Eastern Regions use Easter to celebrate festivals.

*Adae and Akwasidae Festivals
The pomp and pageantry of the Ashanti kingdom is most vividly brought to life during beautiful Adae festivals which are held at the palace once every 6 weeks. These are occasions when the King, riding in a palanquin and adorned with all his gold ornaments, comes out to receive the homage of his sub-chiefs and people. It is a spectacular sight to watch the colouful canopies and umbrellas, the skillful drummers, dancers, horn-blowers and praise-singers at these regular festivals, held in honour of their ancestral spirits. Time your visit to coincide with an Akwasidae festival, (Sunday Adae). You can determine the Akwasidae date by counting 6 weeks down the calendar from one Adae.

For example, in 1991 the dates are January 6, February 17, March 31, May 12, June 23, August 4, September 15 October 27, December 8.


 

 

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