All Ghana Festivals from January – December (Festivals by date and regions of Ghana)
Festivals in Ghana are annual or biannual events celebrated by different tribes, towns in various parts of the country in commemoration of a past event or in recognition of some personalities. A notable feature of Ghanaian society, and one that is of great interest to travellers, is the enormous number of traditional festivals that take place in various parts of the country throughout the year.
This makes for an all year round celebration of festivals that are different from each other in their meanings, history and activities undertaken. These festivals make known some common qualities and beliefs of Ghanaian society. Ghana, Festivals of Ghana, region, local, dates of festivals, Ghana Tourism, Tourism, Africa.
Ghana is a country that celebrates festivals. There are several rites and rituals that are performed throughout the year in various parts of the country. They cover the right of passage child-birth, puberty, marriage and death. To the majority of people, these celebrations provide all that is satisfying to their communities and families.
There are over two hundred festivals, which is celebrated each year in Ghana. Among them are Adae and Akwasiddae, Dzwuwu, Apoo, Ngmayem, Dipo, Aboakyer/Antelope, Kundum, Fetu Afahye, Kobine, Odwira, Sasabobrim and many others. Many festivals include thrilling durbars of chiefs, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers process in decorated palanquins, shaded by the traditional umbrellas and supported by drummers and warriors discharging ancient muskets. However, one of the most interesting festivals is the Akwasidae Festival of the Ashantis. The Akwasidae Festival is celebrated every 42 days in Ghana.
The Ashantis believe in the dead. Each time that a king dies, his stool (“chair”) is sent to a special place where it is kept. It is the duty of the Asantehene, the Ashanti King to purify at every 42 days the stools of the dead kings.
The festival starts on Friday and it is called Adaefofie. It continues on Saturday and this is called Memeneda Dapaa. Both Friday and Saturday celebrations are performed behind closed doors and the public cannot participate.
This festival is held every summer. It celebrates Ghanaian roots. People from other African countries as well as the African-Americans with roots in Ghana visit the country and celebrate their heritage.
The Homowo Festival
The word “Homowo” actually means ‘making fun of hunger.’ Our traditional oral history describes a time long ago when the rains stopped and the sea closed its gates. A deadly famine spread throughout the southern Accra Plains, the home of the Ga people. When the harvest finally arrived and food became plentiful, the people were so happy that they celebrated with a festival that ridiculed hunger.
Odwira: Celebrated by the Akan people of Akuapem, Akwamu, Denkyira and the Akyems.
The Yam Festival: Celebrated by the Akan people of Aburi in Akuapem.
Aboakyir: Celebrated by the Effutus of Winneba.
Akwambo: Celebrated by the Fantes of Agona and Gomoa.
Ayerye: Celebrated by the Fantes.
Oguaa Fetu Afahye festival: Celebrated every year in the first week of September, in the Central region of Ghana.
The Papa Festival: Celebrated by the Akan people of Kumasi.
Hogbetsotso: Celebrated by the Ewe people of Anlo.
Homowo Festival: Celebrated by the Ga people of Greater Accra.
The Yam Festival: Celebrated by several Ewe groups of the Volta Region.
Damba: Celebrated by the people of the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana.
Kwafie: Celebrated by the people of the Brong Ahafo Region.
Okyonsa: Celebrated by the people of the Santrokofi in the Volta Region.
Bakatue: Celebrated by the people of Elmina.
Nmayem: Celebrated by the people of Odumase Krobo.
Asafotufiam: Celebrated by the poeple of Ada.
Bugum (Fire) Festival: Celebrated by the Dagombas of the Northern Region.
Others are the:
Rice Festival of the people of Akpafu, Volo and Likpe Traditional Areas, all in the Volta Region.
Akyempem Festival of the people of Agona.
Bohyenhuo Festival of the people of Essumeja.
Atweaban Festival of the people of Ntonso, all in the Ashanti Region.
Fetu Afahye Festival of the people of Oguaa (Cape Coast) in the Central Region.
Kuribi Festival of the people of Namese in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Kpiru-Kyiu Festival of the people of Wa.
Don Festival of the people of the Upper West and Upper East regions of Ghana.
Adae Kese Festival: Celebrated by the people of Ashanti. Adaekese is perhaps the most spectacular of all the festivals in Ghana. It attracts the largest gathering and its exhibition of the Golden Stool in full splendour next to the King of the Ashantis is a sight to behold.
Adae Kese Festival – State Festival of the Ashanti’s for the purification of ancestral stools – Kumasi, Ashanti Region
Edina Buronya Festival – (Local version of Christmas exclusively celebrated by the people of Edina) – 1st Thursday of the New Year – Elmina, Central Region
Rice Festival – Harvest / Thanksgiving: 3rd Week -Akpafu, Volta Region
Ntoa Fokuose Festival – Festival of the god ‘Ntoa” – 10th January -Nkoranza, Brong Ahafo Region
Akwanbo Festival – Gomoa Abora, Central Region
Yam Festival – Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area, Western Region
Okwawuman Afahye – Abetifi Traditional Area, Eastern Region
Gologo Festival – Sacrifices to the gods for abundant rain and good harvest in the ensuring year -Tong-Zug, Upper East Region
Ngmayen Festival – Harvest / Thanksgiving – late March or early April -Krobo Odumase Somanya,
Odwira Festival – Kyempo, Asante Akim South, Ashanti Region
Aboakyer Festival (Deer Hunting) (Short Info) – Aboakyir Festival Ghana. (Full Info) – Winneba, Central Region of Ghana. Late April or early May – Winneba – Central Region.
Dipo festival – The Dipo festival is the greatest legacy of Krobo land. It is celebrated by the people of Manya and Yilo Krobo in the towns of Krobo Odumase and Somanya, in the Eastern Region, located some 80 kilometres north of Accra. The festival is one of the famous and important festivals in Ghana.
Kotoklo Festival – in honour of the shrine “Kotoklo” for the role it played in an ancient war -Somanya & Krobo Odumase, Eastern Region
Bakatue Festival – Fish Harvest -Elmina, Central Region
Homowo Festival – (Harvest/Thanksgiving) -Accra, Labadi, Teshie, Nungua Gt. Accra Region
Asafotu Festival – (Commemorating victories of warriors in battles and in honour of those who fell in battles) 1st weekend in August – Ada, Greater Accra Region
Bayere Afahye – (Yam harvest) – last Monday or 1st Monday in 2nd week – Banda, Brong-Ahafo Region
Akwambo Festival – (Path – clearing) a Festival commemorating the clearing of footpaths leading to rivers, farms & communal sites (early August) Agona Nyakrom, Central Region
Ahobaa Festival – (Festival commemorating the end of epidemic and in honour of a man called ‘Ahor’ who sacrificed his life to end the epidemic) – 3rd week -Gomoa Assin,- Central Region
Kundum Festival – (Festival commemorating the end of famine dating beyond 1700) 2nd week by Upper Dixcove, Western Region
Damba Festival – (Ushers in the new yam crop. Originally linked with Islam, to commemorate the birth and naming of the Prophet Mohammed) -Dagomba Festival, Mamprusi, Gonja, Nanumba and Wala, Northern and Upper Regions
Odambea Festival – (Commemorates the migration of the people of “Nkusukum” from Techiman to their present settlement at Saltpond -Saltpond- Central Region
Ahobaa Festival – Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, Western Region
Fetu Afahye Festival (Short info) and Fetu Afahye Festival (Full info) – (Festival commemorates first contact with the Whites) – 1st week -Ogua Traditional Area, Cape Coast, Central Region
Odwira Festival – (Harvest/Thanksgiving) -Akropong-Akuapem, Eastern Region
Kobine Festival – (Harvest/Thanksgiving -Dagarti, Upper West Region
Akwanbo Festival – Enyan Abaasa, Ajumako-Enyam Essian, Central Region
Ohum Festival – Mampong-Akuapem, Eastern Region
Awubia Festival – Awutu, Bawjiase, Central Region
Akonnedi Festival – (Festival of the ‘Akonnedi’ shrine) 9th – 15th October – Larteh, Eastern Region
Ngmayem Festival – Shai Traditional Area, Dodowa, Greater Accra
Yam Festival – Kpedze, Volta Region
Odwira Festival – Akropong and Amanokrom, Eastern Region
Bugum (Fire) Festival – The dates back to the time when one Tindana lost his dear son. The name of the Tindana and the said son are known as Tindana Suhizee and suhipieli respectively. (Northern regions)
Akwambo Festival – Agona Duakwa, Central Region
Hogbetsotso – (Festival commemorating migration of the people of Anlo from Notsieto Anlo State) -Anlo, Volta Region
Apoo – (Purification of the people) to rid them of social evil -Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region
Kwafie – (Purification ceremony), the highlight of which is a large bonfire) – between November & December – Dormaa Ahenkro, Berekum Nsuatre, Brong-Ahafo Region
Kabube – Nandom Traditional Area, Upper West Region
Amu (brown rice) Festival – Of the chiefs and people of the Avatime Traditional Area at Avatime Gbadzeme in the Volta Region. The chiefs and people of Vane together with their kinsmen from the Avatime Traditional Area celebrate the AMU or Rice Festival through the week leading to, and on the first weekend in the month of November every year. This festival is celebrated in lieu of the agricultural activities forming the major economic activity of the people and rice cultivated as a staple.
Odwira Festival – Denkyira Traditional Area, Dunkwa, Central Region
Fiok Festival (War festival), re-enacting the ancient heroic exploits of the Builsas) -Sandema, Upper East Region
Yam Festival – Sefwi-Wiawso Traditional Area, Western Region
Odwira Festival – Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Akyem Oda, Eastern Region.