One of the culturally rich countries in Africa that resides at the helm of a culturally rich and diverse Africa is the country of Ghana. It is among the top countries in Africa that have several tribes that form the backbone of Africa’s traditions and culture. To celebrate this rich and diverse culture of Ghana there are several festivals that take place in the country. And each festival marks a special tradition or occasion in the Ghanaian subcontinent. There are some very famous festivals that form a part of Ghana’s rich tradition and are a must-visit if and when in Ghana. Below is an interesting list of the top 10 festivals in Ghana that must be on one’s bucket list.
Best Festivals In Ghana
10. Homowo Festival
Every year in May the capital city of Accra in Ghana comes alive with the festive celebrations of Homowo. Which is one of the grandest festivals of Ghana. The history of the festival began with a famine hitting the land of Ghana. That was later on followed by an abundant and bumper harvest. The word ‘Homowo’ itself is a term in the local language which translates to the act of ‘hooting at hunger’. During the festival, the chief of the tribes sprinkles Kpokpoi in the streets. Kpokpoi is a traditional dish made during the Homowo festival that consists of cornmeal, okra juice and palm oil. During the festival, folk songs and prayers are sung to the gods for another bountiful season.
9. Aboakyir Festival
The Aboakyir festival is by the people of the Effutu-Winneba tribe. The word Aboakyir literally translates to “game catching”. The event happens in the month of May and takes place on the first Saturday of the month of May. The two major tribes of the Asafo, namely Denkyefo and Tuafo head into the jungle. For a competitive game of hunting, in which they hunt for deer’s or formerly leopards. Post the hunt, sacred rituals are done to pacify the gods of the forest and the animal spirits. The final celebration happens in the form of a big royal feast that commences from the durbar of the chief.
8. Bakatue Festival
This colourful festival happens in Ghana in the month of July and witnesses the festival done by the people of Elmina. The festival symbolizes the ‘process of discharge’. As the Benya lagoon merges with the sea to kick off the fishing season in the region. There are several activities that happen around this festival done to worship the deities of the fishing community. The celebration sees the first catch of the season given to the gods. The festival takes place every year in Elmina on the first Tuesday of July. A durbar is set to greet the chiefs and the queens of the tribes with drumming and dancing in the backdrop.
7. Asafotufiam Festival
The festival of Asafotufiam is done by the Ada people in the eastern parts of the Greater Accra region. The occasion is to commemorate the clashes that the Ada ancestors had with the people of the Asafotufiam tribe. The festival also marks the beginning of the harvest season which sees ceremonial customs taking place. The festival witnesses a very vibrant and colourful illustration of the ancient clash that took place between the tribes. Drumming, singing and dancing are a common part of the festival with a few other local customs on display.
6. Oguaa Fetu Afahye Festival
Fetu Afhaye becomes a town of many vibrant colours on the occasion of the Oguaa Fetu. The town of Fetu Afahye lies in the city of Cape Coast where the festival takes place. Rituals like animal sacrifice and offering of grains to the 77 deities of the area take place during the festival. Also, there is a ban on music, noise-making and drumming before the festival begins. Furthermore, the fishing in the Fosu Lagoon is brought to a complete stop in the week before the festival. However on the day of the festival, one can witness the old and young people of the region dressed in colourful items of clothing donning several gold ornaments. The chiefs of the region partake in the festivities by leading the procession while holding their ancestral sceptres.
5. Hogbetsotso Festival
This particular ceremony marks the auspicious occasion when the Anlo Ewes made the grand escape from Agorkoli the ruler to Notsie. The Anlo Ewes walked backwards to escape the guards who took rounds guarding the area. By keeping an eye on the guards looking in their direction and stopping in their tracks and blending in with the forest. The festival also provides a platform for resolving fights and qualms between the members of the region.
4. CHALE WOTE Festival
The Chale Wote festival is one of the most intriguing and revolutionary festivals that takes place in the Jamestown region of Ghana. The festival witnesses an exchange of ideas between local African artists and international crony capitalists from around the world. To sum it up Chale Wote festival is a street art festival that takes place in the streets of Jamestown, Ghana. The reason for having the festival in Jamestown is because during the colonial era it was Jamestown that saw the maximum exploitation of the African locals. So the idea of creating a movement where cronies come face to face off with people of exploitation and debate about the way of how the future of the world should come to fruition. Becomes a very ironic and intriguing concept.
3. Nkabom Literary Festival
It is a local literary festival that takes place in Accra every year. The festival witnesses the greatest migration of local artists from in and around Ghana coming together to showcase their art. And share an idea or just get a new perspective about things. The Nkabom festival attracts artists from all skillsets like painters, DJ’s, illustrators, musicians, theatre artists and many more. The festival transforms into a platform where several contents from multiple sources pour in to create a literary festival. That magnifies the reach of local literature to the international mass.
2. Accra Food Festival
This food festival is one of the best that takes place in Accra. The Accra food festival witnesses traditional and non-traditional dishes from in and around Ghana. Those are laid out in food stalls for a pocket-friendly amount. That helps in spreading bundles of joy to everyone that visit the festival. The Accra food festival welcomes travellers from neighbouring countries and even from around the world to savour delicacies not found easily in Ghana. The festival is a kid-friendly event and guarantees a gastronomic experience like no other.
The term PANAFEST is an abbreviation for ‘Pan-African Festival of Art and Culture’. The festival showcases different aspects of traditional and historical legacies left behind in the form of art and culture. The celebration began in the 1980s. By the late Efua Sutherland to attract the African diaspora all around the globe. The festival greatly focuses on the several cultures and traditions of the several distinct tribes of Africa. And help revive these traditions to bring back the long lost treasures of Africa. The festival is aimed to bring back African people who were part of the lost tribes. In order to resuscitate the lost traditions and customs of Africa.