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January

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February

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March

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April

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May

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June

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July

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August

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September

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October

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November

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December

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January

 

Bugum Festival

Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumb

January 9

This festival is held by many ethnic groups in the Northern Ghana. Most Muslims and Non-Muslims take part in the celebration. The fire festival (Bugum) is observed by the Muslims to mark the landing of prophet Noah’s Ark after the flood. It is celebrated in the night with bundles of grass used as torches. This is the period during which some non-Muslims make offerings to their ancestors and God, since the festival marks the beginning of a new year. The Islamists hold the view that following the great flood during the time of prophet Noah, the Ark landed in the night and torches were lit to enable prophet Noah and his people to see whether they were on land. This festival is therefore held to mark this important night when the Ark landed after the great flood.

Besides, the Traditionalist are of the view that, one great king lost his son and when nightfalls a search party had to light torches (flash lights) in order to search for the prince in the night. Therefore this occasion is remembered annually, thus, the fire festival is held to mark this all important night.

 

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

 

Kpledjoo Festival

Tema Greater Accra Region

An annual festival to facilitate the recovery of the Sakuma Lagoon for bumper harvest. The climax is a grand-durber of the chiefs and people and general merry-making amidst free-for-all hugging.

 

Gwolgu Festival

Tongu, Upper East Region

A festival celebrated to usher in the new farming season.

 

Damba Festival

Tamale, Yendi, Walewale, Nalerigu, Northern Region

A festival with its origin from Islam. It celebrates the birth of the prophet Mohammed. The chiefs accompanied by their retinues and warriors dress in colorful hand-woven cloths and dance to thunderous beats of the gong-gong drums.

 

Atu-Ho-Akye Festival

Ejisu, Ashanti Region

A durbar of chiefs and local people celebrate and honor ancestors.

 

Apoo Festival

Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region

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.

 

Golob Festival

March and April

Tengzung, Upper East Region

Marks the beginning of the sowing season

 

Wilaa Festival

March and April

Takpo, Upper West Region

Thanksgiving to God and ancestors for a good harvest and guidance for their farming activitiesic representative of their part of the African continent.

 

 

April

 

Jintigi Fire Festival

All Gonja Towns, Northern Region

Commemorate the search of a lost son of an ancient king. Among activities to mark the festival is the procession at night with torches into the bush or outshirts of towns and villages within Gonjaland. There are also Koran recitals to forecast the new year.

 

Dipo Festival

Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Eastern Region

During this celebration, adolescent girls are adorned in beautiful beads and half-clothed. This festival initiates these girls into womanhood.

 

Bugum Festival

Tamale, Bimbilla, Walewale, Yendi, Nalerigu, Northern Region

Celebrations begin with processions from neighboring villages. By nightfall, all the villagers converge at the Chief’s palace with torches. Following special invocations by the Chief, the ceremonial illuminate the streets. Festive drumming and dancing continue until the early hours of the morning.

 

 

May

 

Aboakyer Festival

(Antelope hunting)

Winneba, Central Region

This festival is held on the first Saturday of the month of May. It kicks off with a competitive hunt between two groups within the village. Each group tries to catch an antelope. The goal of the hunt is to try to catch the animal alive in order to display the strength, power and bravery of these warriors. Once the antelope has been caught the village celebrates by sacrificing the animal to the gods. Other events include the colorful procession of the chiefs and sub-chiefs with native music, dancing and story telling.

 

DzohayemFestival

Osudoku, Greater Accra

This colorful and lively festival commemorates the descent of the ancestors from the Osuyem Hill

 

June

 

Bugum Festival

Northern, Upper East and Upper West Region

Celebrated in Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumba.

This festival commemorates the flight of Naiul-Lah Mohammed from Mecca into exile in Medina. Events begin with processions from neighbouring villages and by nightfall villagers gather at the Chiefs Palace with lighted torches.The ceremony illuminates the streets and there is dancing and drumming into the early hours of the morning.

 

 

Agadevi Festival

Hohoe district/ Volta Region

Agadevi festival was instituted to commemorate a major landslide 75 years ago on a section of the Akwapim/Togo range. The annual festival brings chiefs and people from this area together to thank God for saving the lives of these people.

 

Ohum Festival

Akyem Traditional Area

This festival is celebrated twice a year in June/July and September/October by the chiefs and people of the Akyem Traditional Area. It marks the anniversary of the Akyem Nation, worshipping the ancestral stools and the spirits of those who occupied them. The celebration also marks the first yam harvest of the year and asks for blessings for the coming year.

 

Nkyidwo

Essumeja

Nkyido is a very special festival to the people of the village of Essumeja. This festival retells the native folktale in which their ancestors come out of a hole in the ground.The village recreates the event by having the people of the village followed by a dog and a lion. The festivities include many spiritual blessings from the native gods as well as lively music, dancing and other activities that mark this very special evening. Nkyido is held on a Monday night in the month of June.

 

July

 

Bakatue Fishing Festival

First Tuesday in July  (cancelled this year)

Benya River, Elmina Central Region

Celebrated annually, Bakatue has origins that pre-date the arrival of Europeans in Ghana.This colorful Fishing Festival by the Benya Lagoon in Elmina celebrates the beginning of the fishing season. Chiefs and elders are carried through the streets on palanquins in full regalia, shaded by ornate umbrellas, to visit a sacred shrine. The chiefs, followed by singers, dancers and stilt walkers, pour libation and sprinkle food at the shrine. A priest casts a net to signify the start of the fishing season. The first catch is offered up to the local deities to ask for a good season’s fishing - Elmina’s livelihood. There is also a regatta of canoes and a boat race on Benya Lagoon.

 

Panafest

July 21-August 4

Cape Coast

This biennial festival is dedicated to showcasing the African arts. Come see African dance, music, drama & poetry. Experience conferences on the arts, history & international relations. One of the highlights is a candlelit emancipation vigil to honor African slaves.

 

Asafotu-fiam Festival

From the last Thursday of July until the first weekend in August

Ada in the Eastern region

The annual warrior’s festival of Asafotu-Fiam is celebrated by the people of Ada, near Accra. The festivals commemorate the victories of warriors in past battles as well as those who died. Participants dress in traditional gear and stage mock battles, which is both a part of the celebration and also introduces the younger men to the warrior lifestyle. The festival also ushers in the season of harvest and acts as a purification ritual to bring the people prosperity in the coming year. Sunday, there is an open air church service and the following days are filled with beach parties, Traditional military groups called “Asafo Companies” dance through the street amid drumming and singing, there are boat races, river excursions and football matches.

 

Kente Festival

July/August

Bonwire, Ashanti Region

Signifies the commemoration of the origin of the Kente cloth, over 300 years ago. This Festival is a colorful assembly of local chiefs and people of Bonwire. During this time participants adorn themselves with beautifully woven Kente clothes and designs, which they have created.

 

August

 

Akwambo Festival

First Sunday in August

Agona Nyakrom, Central Region

Akwambo basically means “the making of a way”. It commemorates the migrations of this regions  ancestors to this region.

 

Yaa Asantewa Festival

Ejisu-Juaben District

People from all walks of life are present to pay homage to Nana Yaa Asantewaa the brave Ashanti war heroine and those exiled to the Seychelles with her. In 1900, at the advanced age of 60-plus and defying a woman’s role in her society, Yaa Asantewaa, the queenmother of Edweso stepped out of the shadows to lead an army of 20,000 men to resist British imperialism in what is now known as the Yaa Asantewaa War. The Asante nation, to which Yaa Asantewaa belonged, fiercely resisted British attempts to colonise their territory. At the height of its glory, the Asante Empire (which came after the collapse of the earlier empires of Bono and Denkyira), encompassed over 70% of present day Ghana, and could boast one of the most advanced systems of government on the continent.

 

Odambea Festival

Last Saturday of August

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”, representing 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, a unique opportunity to learn more about how these people migrated.

 

Homowo Festival

(Hooting At Hunger)

Accra (exact dates relies on harvests)

A colourful festival celebrated by the Ga people in Accra. It is characterised by rituals such as the sprinkling of “Kpokpoi” (the festival dish) to the gods and ancestors for spiritual protection, processions of twins through the principal streets, traditional drumming and dancing and general merry-making. A month before the celebration, there is a ban of noise making. One of the highlights of the festival is that from noon to 6 pm any woman, no matter the status, should accept a hug from a man on the festival street.

 

September

 

Fetu Afahye

Starts on the 1st Saturday of September

Cape Coast

As the story is told, there was a devastating outbreak of a disease in Cape Coast and it is believed that with the help of the gods, the people were able to eradicate the epidemic hence the name “FETU” from “Efin Tu” which means eradicating dirt from the people. Before the actual festival celebration, the Omanhen is confined for a week, during which he goes into a long period of meditation seeking wisdom. As the tradition demands, before the festival, a ban is imposed on drumming and fishing. On the last Monday in August, a vigil takes place at the “Fosu” Lagoon. During this night, citizens convene in large numbers to witness a display of priests and priestesses until day break. A “Bakatue” (Opening up the river) event is heralded by an exceptionally large crowd amidst the firing of musketry. The Omanhen then casts his net three times into the lagoon, amid cheers to lift the ban on fishing. Durbar of chiefs is held on that Saturday. They parade through the principal streets of Cape Coast to the Victoria square. On Sunday, church service is held. To thank God for having helped the people throughout all their endearvours.

 

Odwira

(Harvest/Thanksgiving)

From the last Thursday of July until the first weekend in August

Celebrated in most Akwapim towns during September and October. Odwira is an Akan word which means purification. The festival is therefore a period of purification and cleansing. Before the celebration of the actual festival a period of forty days is declared as a period for meditation and rest. This period is known as”Adaabutuw”. First day, which is mostly Mondays is set aside for clearing the path leading to the royal mausoleum. On the second day, it is a taboo for any Akuapem citizen to eat any new yam. On the third day relatives especially those who died during the past year are remembered. Forth day is declared as the feasting day. On Friday, the festival is crowned with a grand durbar of chiefs.

 

Akwantutenten

September/October

Worawora, Volta Region History has it that, the people of Worawora migrated from Kuntenase near Lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region to their present settlement in 1774. The long trip made by the people from Ashanti Region to the Volta Region brought about the name of the festival called , the “LONG JOURNEY”. The festival most of the time witness the participation of the Asante King (Asantehene). In 2001,Otumfuo Osei Tutu II took part in the celebration of the festival.  The  festival   is  mostly   held  in  September/October. Aside the festival is noted for bringing together the people of Asante and that of Worawora in the Volta Region of Ghana.

 

October

 

Kobine Festival

October

Lawra, Upper West Region

This 4 day festival serves as both a harvest celebration and as a homecoming for people who have left Lawra. The first day serves as a day of rest for those who have traveled from far away. The second and third days are the official festival days. The festival begins with the procession of the traditional chiefs. Each festival participant is clothed with their most beautiful smocks while walking under huge parasols. The procession is led to the festival ground by a group of men portraying elephant “hunters”. The “hunters” are dressed in traditional hunting atire, including bows and arrows. These hunters are accompanied by a large group of musicians and drummers from the Lawra Chief’s palace.

 

November

 

Hogbetsotso

First Saturday of the month

Anloga, Volta Region

Celebrated by the Anlo Ewes, an ethnic group on the eastern coast of Ghana. 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. There are many ceremonies during this festival including a peace-making period where all outstanding problems are supposed to be resolved. There is also a purification ceremony where villages are swept and rubbish is burnt. This begins at the Volta Estuary and goes on for days until it reaches the Mono River in Benin. The highlight is when the chiefs dress in very colorful regalia and sit in state.

 

Kwafie Festival

Between November & December

The people of Dormaa Ahenkro, Berekum and Nsuatre in the Brong Ahafo Region

The Dormaas are reputed to have brought fire to Ghana and this legend is celebrated by, among many other activities, the burning of a large bonfire. This is a period when all the descendants of the original Dormass come home to a grand reunion which includes a pageant of the royal courts, drumming and  dancing.

 

Apoo Festival

Techiman & Wenchi in the Bong Ahafo Region

This festival aims to purify people and to rid them of social evil. The word “Apoo” comes from the root word “po” meaning “to reject” therefore “Apoo” means the rejection of evil, abominations, calamities, curses or worries. Everybody regardless of social status, creed, or ethnicity, is allowed thirteen days of freedom to voice, often in the form of proverbs and songs, the mistakes and wrong-doings of any person, including those in high-places like the Omahene and his wing chiefs. This festival lasts one week and includes a variety of recreational cultural activity. On the last day, a Monday, the god Taa-Mensa of the community is carried through the whole town to express gratitude to all the people who contributed to make the festival a success.

 

December

 

Eiok Festival

Sandema by the Builsas

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.