H.E. Gina Ama Blay

Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the Federal Republic of Germany

Festival in the Greater Accra Region

Festival in the Greater Accra Region

Homowo Festival

Period:
August/September
Place: Ga Traditional Are


Description:  
 

Homowo (hooting at hunger) is one of the colourful festivals celebrated by the people of Ghana (Accra) Traditional Area.  It is characterised by rituals such as the sprinkling of “KPOKPOI” (the festival dish) to the gods and ancestors for spiritual protection, a procession of twins through the principal streets, traditional drumming and dancing, and general merrymaking.  A month before the celebration, there is a ban on noise making.  A climax of the festival is that from 12 noons to 6:00 p.m. Any woman, no matter the status, should accept a hug from a man on the festival street.

Asafotufiam Festival
Period:
1st Saturday of August
Place: Ada, 71 km east of Accra

 

Description:  

Asafotufiam is an annual festival celebrated by the people of Ada.  It commemorates the victories of their warriors in battle and those who fell on the battlefield.  The historic event is re-enacted.  There are also purification ceremonies, a durbar of chiefs and firing of musketry.

Ngmayem Festivals
Period:
October
Place: Dodowa


Description:

This is the annual traditional harvest and thanksgiving festival of the Shai and Krobos in the towns of Odumase and Somanya.

Kpledjoo Festival
Period:
March/April
Place: Tema

 

Decription: 

It is an annual festival to facilitate the recovery of the Sakumo Lagoon for bumper harvest.  Preceding the festival is a five-month temporary ban on fishing and trapping of crabs in the lagoon.

On the day of the celebration of the festival, the chief priest/priestess of the Sakumo lagoon perform some rituals at the banks of the lagoon before the general public is permitted into it.

The climax is a grant-durbar of the chiefs and people and general merry-making amidst free-for-all hugging.

H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President of the Republic of Ghana

Festival of the Central Region

Masquerding Festival

It started around the 1920’s and is celebrated on the 1st of January every year and draws large crowds from all over.  There are four fancy-dressing groups who participate in the festival competition, wearing masks and accompanied by brass band music.  The festival begins in the morning of New Year Day with street dancing and is open to all the performing groups who parade through the principal streets of Winneba.  The groups converge at the Advanced Teacher Training College Part where the competition takes the form of a march past and three different dances (Highlife/Blues) performed by the groups. A team of judges award marks and at the end of the day the most versatile group is crowned the winner.

Edina Bronya Festival

This festival is a novel Christmas introduced to the people of Elmina during the Dutch era of the colonial period.  The period coincides with the Dutch Festival, which falls on the first Thursday of January every year and marked in Elmina to signify the bond of friendship between the Dutch and the people of Elmina. A fish-catching ritual is performed at the banks of the Benya Lagoon by the Asafo Companies in their full regalia.  The Paramount Chief and his retinue are present at the banks and musketry is fired.  On the eve of the festival, the Paramount chief climbs up Fort St. Jago and fires shots at midnight to usher in the New Year.  The Paramount Chief rides in a Palanquine the next day to pay homage to the various clans. Libation is poured using locally prepared wine and there is a sprinkling of mashed yam as well as shaking of hands with family heads to signify peace, prosperity and good health in the coming year.  The Paramount Chief and his elders converge in front of Elmina Castle where a sheep is slaughtered.  There is merrymaking, drumming and dancing throughout.

Aboakyer Festival

Aboakyer literally means, “Catching a live deer”.  The two Asafo companies using only sticks and clubs move to their respective hunting grounds in the morning of the first Saturday in May climaxing the festival.  The first company to bring a live deer for the Omanhene to step on three times is declared the winner of the year. The Deer Hunt Festival is celebrated in remembrance of Winneba’s fetish war god, APA Sekum, who was said to have helped the people in various ways.  The deer is captured alive and sacrificed to the fetish god. On the eve of the climax of the festival, the “Asafo” companies perform rituals and outdoors their gods.  This ceremony is a crownd puller. In the morning of Aboakyer day, the Paramount Chiefs, sub-chiefs, dignitaries and the public assemble at the durbar grounds to wait for the catch amidst drumming and dancing.  There is jubilation through the streets until the deer is deposited at the shrine to await its slaughter the next day. In the afternoon, the public admire the works of the gods in the traditional area.  This festival is reminiscent of the Jewish Passover festival, because family houses or stools receive the smear of sheep blood and sprinkling of the dough mix meal on the first three days before merry making begins.  A significant event is the display of colourful flags by the various “Asafo” companies in the traditional area.

Edina Bakatue Festival

Literally translated means the “Opening of the Lagoon” or the “Draining of the Lagoon”.  It is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the town, Elmina by the Europeans.  It is also celebrated to invoke the deity, Nana Benya’s continuous protection of the state and its people. During the celebration, the Paramount Chief and his sub-chiefs, elders, fetish priests and priestesses, and indeed the entire state offer the sacred food of eggs and mashed yam mixed with palm oil to the river god and pray for peace. All rituals are performed on Mondays.  Fetish priests and priestesses and drummers take turns to perform their rituals.  There is a performance of the spiritually possessed chief fetish priest as he responds to spiritual revelations. There is a royal procession made up of gorgeously dressed chiefs and stool carriers, some riding in beautifully decorated palanquins.  After performing some rituals at the riverside, the chief priest casts his net three times and announces the lifting of the ban on fishing, drumming, funerals and other social activities in the traditional area.   There is a spectacular ride on the lagoon by women resplendent in “Kente” cloth and local festive headgears.  A royal procession leading to the chief’s palace amidst traditional music ends the festival.

Akwambo Festival

The people of Agona in the Central Region celebrate the 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. With their bodies smeared with clay, the people then parade with twigs and tree branches through the town in groups amidst drumming, dancing and firing of musketry. In a procession, they go through the principal routes and then to the durbar ground to meet the chief and his elders. There is a vigil kept at night and patronized mainly by the youth.  It is a time when people come together to renew family and social ties.  Performing groups, which are dormant, are revitalized and new groups initiated.

Panafest

The Pan-African Historic Festival (PANAFEST) is a major biennial event-involving forum for Africans and people of African descent as well as friends of the continent committed to the noble cause of Pan Africanism. The venues for the Panafest are the historical towns of Cape Coast and Elmina.  The festival is a celebration of African cultural values, history and civilization.  This consists of:

  • Performances and workshops in theatre, drama, music, cinema, poetry, colloquia and lectures.
  • Colourful traditional durbar of chiefs and people of Ghana.
  • Tour/excursions to places of interest such as the slave castle dungeons.  Panafest brings together participants from all over the world.
Oguaa Fetu Festival

The Fetu Afahye celebrated by the people of Oguaa or Cape Coast Traditional Area is named after the 17th Century Fetu or Effutu Kingdom located some 19 kilometres inland of Cape Coast.  A main feature of the festival is the state purification rites, which include the Paramount Chief’s yam festival, and is observed in the form of offering mashed yams to the gods. There is also a display of traditional priests and priestesses on Monday night which attracts large a crowd, mainly the youth and tourists.

Another significant feature is the observance of “Bakatue”. This ceremony involves cutting through the sand bar separating the Fosu lagoon and the sea to allow the lagoon access into the sea presumably to bring more fish into the lagoon.  The Omanhene (Paramount Chief) as part of the event pours libation to the deity, Nana Fosu.  The Omanhene’s net is cast three times into the lagoon to signify the lifting of the ban on lagoon fishing. Various fishermen’s groups in the municipality organize a regatta or boat race on the lagoon.  A grand durbar climaxes the festival.

Odwira Festival

The Odwira Festival, which is celebrated by the Denkyira people, runs for weeks, beginning at Jukwa, the traditional capital, and ends at Dunkwa-on Offin, the administrative capital.  It signifies cleansing or bathing their ancestors and lesser gods.  Drumming and firing of guns are done to announce the festival in the palace.  There is wailing and weeping by the women amidst the firing of guns by the Asafo companies.  Its significance is to remember the departed. On Friday, the two Asafo Companies (traditional warriors) joined by the inhabitants, take to the streets of Jukwa amidst drumming and dancing.  Later the Chief is carried in a palanquin to a sacred place where sacrifices are made to departed royals of the Denkyira State.

The festival in Jukwa ends with a durbar of chiefs and people of the area.  After the first week in Jukwa, the festival is moved to Dunkwa-on Offin, the administrative capital for the climax of the festivities.

Festival in the Ashanti Region

Adae Kese Festival

This is a very important, albeit rare celebration of the Ashantis.  It is held in a large open space in the capital city of Kumasi.  The festival is normally well attended and embraced by Ashantis 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 calendar 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. Adae Kese is usually held to climax celebrations of specific milestones and achievements of the Asante Kingdom.  It was first celebrated to mark the attainment of statehood of a newly celebrated people, in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence, otherwise known as the “Battle of Feyiase”, which was fought against the Denkyiras between 1697 and 1699.  Adae Kese, like other Akwasidae events, serve as the platform for pledging allegiance to the Kingdom and to affirm loyalty to the occupant of the Golden Stool which represents the unity and embodiment of all Ashanti. The event is marked in two phases.  There are solemn private observances, which are performed at the King’s palace chambers by accredited members of the royal family and other functionaries.  It includes rituals, aimed at cleansing the spirit of the incumbent King and the presentation of ceremonial sacrificial meal (Eto) and drinks to ancestral spirits.  Their blessing and protection guide the Kingdom to prosperity. The public celebrations take the form of a colourful durbar of chiefs and queen mothers presided over by the Asantehene.  It involves the display of cherished regalia and paraphernalia accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing as well as firing of musketry amidst pomp and pageantry. The Adae festival is a continuous demonstration of faith in the vision and heritage of the Asante Kingdom, which has existed since the introduction of the Golden Stool in 1700. The festival is also to commemorate and re-enforce the independence of the Ashanti people and an occasion to re-affirm each state’s loyalty to the confederacy instituted in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence fought against the Denkyiras between 1697-1699. It provides a platform for the King to meet and share his thoughts with his sub-chiefs and subjects and also reward deserving ones.

Papa Festival
Period:
Celebrated on an Akwasidae date, mostly in March
Place: Kumawu, (Sekyere East District).

Activities 
Begins with sacrificial rituals on the eve of the actual day.  The day starts with a mini durbar of chiefs presided over by the Paramount Chief of Kumawu.  Then comes a procession of the chiefs and traditional militia warrior group to “PAPASO”. This is where the sacrificial cow is slaughtered.  Anyone can have a piece of this cow if one can withstand the beatings and heckling that characterises attempts to secure a portion of the meat.  This display of valour and endurance is part of the festival.

Significance
The Festival reminds the chiefs and people of the Kumawu area of the bravery of their ancestors, especially, Nana Tweneboah Kodua I, who offered himself as ransom in order that the Ashantis emerge victorious in the battle of independence fought against the Denyiras.  The festival also seeks to purify the state by driving off evil spirits, which may hinder the search for elephant tusks, which are important paraphernalia of the royalty.

Kente Festival
Period:
JULY/AUGUST
Place: BONWIRE, (Ejisu-Juaben District

Activities
A colorful assembly of local chiefs and people of Bonwire, where participants adorn themselves with beautifully woven Kente clothes and designs, which they have created.

Significance
Commemorates the origin of the Kente cloth, Bonwire, over 300 years ago.  The festival also seeks to assert the influence of the Kente as an exclusive cloth from this part of the world.

 

Yaa Asantewaa Festival
Period:
August
Place: Ejisu (Ejisu-Juaben District)

Activities 
Durbar of chiefs presided over by the paramount chief of Ejisu Traditional area.  People from all walks of life call to pay homage to the memory of Nana Yaa Asantewaa the brave Ashanti war heroine and those exiled to the Seychelles with her.

Significance 
To commemorate the bravery of heroine Yaa Asantewaa I, for resisting attempts by the British forces to capture the Ashanti Golden Stool by leading the famous uprising in the late 1690s.

Mmoa Nnni Nko Festival
Period:
October
Place: Offinso, (Offinso District)Activities

Activities 
A colourful durbar of chiefs accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing amid merry making and funfair and firing of musketry.

Significance
To celebrate the bravery and wisdom of Nana Wiafe Akenten I, who chose a large piece of land instead of jewelry, when the King was rewarding the various divisions after war against the Dormaas of the Brong Ahafo region, which the Ashantis won.

Nkyidwo Festival
Period:
Last Monday in November/1st Monday in December
Place:  Essumeja, (Bekwai District)

Activities 
The performance of rituals and durbar of traditional leaders at a site in the Asantemanso forest, known to be the ancestral origin of the Asantes.

Significances
Marks the emergence of the first seven Asante ancestors from a huge hole in the ground, marking the origin of the Ashantis.

Festival in the Western Region

Festival in the Western Region
Anlo-Hogbetsotso Festival
Keta-Sometutuza
DzawuwuFestival Of Agave-Ewes
AyimagonuFestival Of Dofor-Ewes
Yam-FestivalOf The People Of Ho And Immediate Environs
GbidukorFestival of the Gbi-Ewes
AkwantutentenFestival of The Ewes
Agbamevoza(Kente Festival) of the Agotime People
Amu(Rice) Festival of the people of Vane in the Ho District
Sasadu Festival
Glimetotozola Of the Adaklu People
Apenorto Festival Of the People Mepe
Wli Falls Festival

Jintigi Fire Festival

Jintigi Fire Festival
Special Jintigi Festival
Damba Festival
Bugum Chugu (Fire) Festival
Sonyor Deng Festival
Kpini Chugu (Guinea Fowl) Festival
Konyurichugu (El-Il-Fitr) Festival
Chimsi Chugu (Ed-Il-Adha) Festival
Gobandawu (Yam) Festival
Damba Festival
Gologo/GolibFestival
Samnpiid Festival
Boaram Festival
Fao Festival
Feok Festival
Addakoya Festival
Kuure Festival
Tengana Festival

Travel Documents & Visas

All visitors to Ghana must possess a valid national passport. A national of any member state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) visiting Ghana may, however, produce a travel certificate in lieu of a passport. ECOWAS members are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The Director

Ghana Immigration Service
Private Mailbag, Ministries Post Office
Accra, Ghana

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E-Mail: chancery@ghanaemberlin.de

Embassy of Ghana, Germany
Consular Section
Stavangerstrasse 17 and 19
10439 Berlin, Germany
P: (+49) 30 54 71 49-50
F: (+49) 30 44 67 40 63
E-Mail: consular@ghanaemberlin.de

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