One of the most attractive aspects of the Ghanaian culture is
the colorful traditional festivals and durbars which are held
yearly in all parts of the country. These festivals reveal some
common features and beliefs of our society. Through the
festivals, the people remember their ancestors and ask for
their protection. Festivals are also held in order to purify
the whole state so that people can enter the New Year with
confidence and hope. Below are some major festivals to which
you are invited.
A Description of a few of the major festivals in Ghana
DIPO (Puberty Rites)
A puberty festival to initiate young girls into womanhood with
a parade in attire close to nudity.
Held in Krobo land, 50 miles east of Accra.
ABOAKYIR (Deer hunting)
A hunting expedition by two Asafo groups to catch live
antelope. The first group to present its catch to the Chief at
a colorful durbar is declared winner and is highly regarded for
bravery. Winneba, 17 miles west of Accra.
BAKATUE (Fish Harvesting)
A royal procession of chiefs and stool holders riding in
palanquins through principal streets to a sacred shrine where
chiefs pour libation and sprinkle sacred food. Pouring of
mashed yam and eggs into the Bake (lagoon), followed by
scooping with a net, after which permission is given to
fishermen to open the fishing season, after a ban. Festival
culminates in a regatta. Edina/Elmina, 99 miles west of Accra.
FETU AFAHYE (Harvest commemorating first contact with whites)
A colorful procession of chiefs, amid drumming, dancing and
firing of musketry. There is a uniqueness in the attire.
Sacrifice of a cow to the seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa.
Cape Coast (Oguaa), 90 miles west of Accra.
Ceremonies for this festival include a procession of chiefs
through principal streets with all twins in the area dressed
purposely for the occasion. All this is done amidst the
sprinkling of festive food kpokpoi to the gods and ancestors of
Accra/Ga Traditional Area.
This festival dramatizes the tradition myths and legends of the
people, and commemorates a period of remembrance and
thanksgiving to the gods for their mercies in the past year,
and renewal of family and societies. A durbar of chiefs crowns
the celebration amidst drumming and dancing.
Akropong Traditional Area, 90 miles north of Accra.
Originally linked with the birth of Mohammed, the Prophet of
Allah. This festival has assumed a traditional character A two-
day festival full of pageantry, showmanship and horse riding.
Tamale/Yendi, 425 miles north of Accra.
Symbolizes the migration of Anlos from the tyrannical ruler of
Notsie in older day Togoland to their present homeland in
Ghana. There is a re-enactment of this migration, which
involved walking backwards, performed by women, children, the
old and the young alike.
Anlo Traditional Area, 88 miles east of Accra.
FIOK (War festival)
A war festival to re-enact ancient historic exploits of the
Busa people. There is a durbar, as well as drumming, dancing,
and thanksgiving to the gods.
ADAE (festival of Purifying of the Ashantis’ ancestral stools)
Festival of the Asante. Celebrated every 40th day. Especially
magnificent when it falls on a Sunday.
Kumasi, 168 miles (272 kilometers) north of Accra.
Every six weeks
Ve Traditional Area (Ve Traditional Area)
Dipo (puberty rite)
Manya Krobos (Odumase)
1st Sat. in May
1st Tues. in July
Agona Nyakrom/Agona Swedru
1st Sat in September
Yilo Krobo (Somanya)
Fofie Yam Festival
Nchiraa near Wenchi
1st Sat in November