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Festivals Held in Ghana

Festivals in Ghana occur throughout the whole year and are used as a means to remember their ancestors and to be protected and favoured by them, but they are also held to purify the area and allow its people to go into the new year with hope. They are a year round affair with different regions, ethnic groups and tribes having different celebrations. These rituals and celebrations are an important part of daily life and this can be easily seen by the large gatherings that are seen at festivals, marriages and funerals. There is a article on Festivals in Ghana and an article on Funerals.

The festivals listed here have been taken from a number of sources including a Ghana Government site that says all are invited to. The dates in some websites and other sources differ, so please check any event is on this year and the exact date before your planning your trip. If you come across more or can tell me anything of the festivals I have at the end of each month where I have minimal information then please let us know so we can expand this resource. We would also like to see any photos of any festival that we can include.

January February March April May June
July August September October November December
Muslim Ashanti . . . .


Bugum 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. Celebrated in Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumba.

Edina Buronya Festival. A native version of Christmas celebrated on the first Thursday of the New Year by the people of Elmina (Edina). Families get together and invite friends to celebrate with dining and merry-making throughout the town.

Other festivals taking place during January include:

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Rice Akpafu Volta
Kpini-Kyiu (27 January) Wa Upper Eastern
Tenghana Tongu Upper Eastern
Danso Abaim & Ntoa Fukokuese Techimentia & Nkoranza Brong Ahafo
Apafram Akwamu Eastern


Papa Festival. Celebrated by the people of Kumawu in the Ashanti region.

Dzawuwu Festival. A annual traditional thanksgiving festival celebrated by the Agave people of Dabala in the Volta region.


Ngmayem Festival A traditional harvest and thanksgiving festival of the Krobo people. Celebrated in Krobo Odumase and Somanya during March and April.

PamYam Festival takes place on the last Friday before Good Friday (March-April) and is celebrated in the Agomeda region. It serves as a time for the people to display their artistic potential with craft exhibitions, singing of folk songs, traditional dancers and plays. Purification of the ancestral stools takes place and it is said it revitalises the youthful force.

Kplejoo is a festival for the gods during which the gods and people are purified. It is a month long affair and the gods are pacified by slaughtering either a sheep or cow to prevent accidents and bad omens that may befall the state in the coming year.  It takes place in either March or April depending on the moon, in Tema/Accra.

Golog Festival. A 3 day festival where sacrifices are offered to the gods for plentiful rain and a good harvest by the Talensis of Tong-Zug.

Other Festivals taking place during March include:

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Asikloe Anfoega Volta
Volo Akuse Volta
Lekoyi Likpe Volta
Kotokyikyi & Ogyapa Senya Beraku Central
Kurubie Namase Brong Ahafo
Lalue Kpledo Prampram Great Accra
Kyiu Sung (7th March)   Upper East & West


DIPO (Puberty Rites)
A puberty festival to initiate young girls into womanhood with a parade in attire close to nudity, with girls adorned in beautiful beads. Held in Krobo land by the people of Manya and Yilo Krobo in the towns of Krobo Odumase and Somanya, 50 miles east of Accra.

EASTER is celebrated in the Kwahu communities in April. The Kwahu natives visit home and is in effect a homecoming festival of the Kwahu's people. It is used to renew their commitment to their Christian Faith and as with all Christians celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

Kalibi Festival allows for ethnic purification from evil deeds and wrongdoings in the society. It honours their ancestors who in return bestow good health and prosperity on the community. It takes place in Sankana in the Upper West region each April.

Other Festivals taking place during April include:

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Bugum, Serpreemi & Wodomi Krobo Eastern


ABOAKYIR (Deer hunting)
A hunting expedition by two Asafo groups to catch live antelope in a nearby game reserve. The first group to present its catch to the Chief at a colourful durbar is declared winner and is highly regarded for bravery. A durbar and procession of the chiefs and warrior groups in colourful regalia together with brass bands, dancing, performances of folklore and parties takes place on the first Saturday of May. Winneba, 17 miles west of Accra.

Other Festivals celebrated during May include:-

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Beng Sonyo Kip Northern
Osudoku Asutsuare Eastern
Donkyi Namase Brong Ahafo
Don (14th May) Bolgatanga Upper East


Ohum 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 is also to mark the first yam harvest of the year and to ask for blessings for the coming year.

Nkyidwo (Monday Night). The people of Essumeja in the Ashanti region annually celebrate their birth or how their ancestors emerged one Monday night from a hole in the ground followed by a dog and lion amid drumming, dancing and other activities.

Other Festivals taking place during June include:

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Asafua Sekondi Central
Ahumkan Akim-Kibi Eastern
Gyenprem Fafo Volta
Ahobaa Enyan-Kakraba-Saltpond Central
Kete Sekondi Central
Ebisa Sekondi Central
Kli-Adzim Agbozume Eastern
Ahoba Kuma Abura Central
Apiba Senya Beraku Central
Dzimbi (11th June)   Upper East & West


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 Lake (lagoon), followed by scooping with a net, after which permission is given to fishermen to open the fishing season, after a ban. A solemn 'net casting' ceremony symbolizes the beginning of a new fishing season. Festival culminates in a regatta of colourful canoes on the Benya Lagoon and processions. Takes place on the first Tuesday of July in Edina/Elmina, 99 miles west of Accra.

Kundum Festival (Yam Festival) is celebrated in the Western Regions by the chiefs and people of Sekondi coastal tribes, the Ashantas and Nzemas between July and November. It moves west from Takoradi to town after town at weekly intervals. It is celebrated to remember their ancestors and ask for their help and protection. It is also used to purify the whole state, and celebrates the goddess of the fertility for providing a bumper harvest. It may be regarded as a harvest festival, as well as a period for remembering the dead, cleansing the community and setting new goals for the coming year.

Fire Festival is celebrated by all the traditional areas of the Northern Region. During the festival the traditionalists pacify their gods whilst the Muslims prepare a black concoction for writing Quranic verses on slates for fortification and purification. Torches are lighted amidst drumming, dancing and a procession on the principal streets of the region. It takes place on the 9th day of Bugum (July).

Ohum-Kan Festival is celebrated by the Kyebi and Asamankese in the Eastern Region. It signifies the breaking of hunger by the God Agyimprem showing a rope of Yam. It unites the people and promotes their cultural life. It is also associated with Ohum-Kyire which closes the Yam festival and is done in remembrance of the ancestors. Takes place between July and September each year.

Other Festivals held during July include:

Festival People Region of Ghana
Bombei Sekondi Western
Ekyen Kofie (Yam Festival) Sekondi Western
Kuntum (Yam Festival) Enyam-Miam Central
Wodomi Manya Krobo Eastern


Asafotu-Fiam Festival is an annual warriors festival celebrated by the people of Ada in the Greater Accra region. It takes place from the last week of July to the first weekend of August and commemorates the victories of the warriors in battle and those who fell on the battlefield. Re-enactments of the historic events take place with warriors dressed in traditional battle dress. It culminates in a colourful procession of the Chiefs accompanied by traditional military grounds with drumming, singing and dancing through the streets and onto the durbar grounds.

Odambea Festival. On the last Saturday of August the Nkusukum Chiefs and people of the Saltpond Traditional area commemorate the migration of their people centuries ago from Techiman (500km away) to their present settlement. Odambea means fortified link. A special feature of the festival is the re-enactment of ancient lifestyles of the people and the chance to learn about how they migrated.

HOMOWO (Harvest/Thanksgiving)
Ceremonies for this festival include a procession of chiefs through principal streets with all twins in the area dressed purposely for the occasion, with traditional drumming and dancing. All this is done amidst the sprinkling of festive food 'kpokpoi' to the gods and ancestors of the state. At the climax of the festival, from 12 noon to 6pm any woman, no matter their status, is expected to accept a hug from a man on the festival street. A special dish is also prepared from ground corn, steamed and mixed with palm oil and eaten with palmut soup. A month long festival celebrated in Accra/Ga Traditional Area.

Afenorto (Staying at Home). The people of Mepe in the Volta region use this festival to take stock of the lives and plan for the future, strengthen family and friendship bonds, pay homage to their ancestors and where young men meet their future spouses.

Emancipation Day is an annual event celebrated on the 1st of August in Ghana in solidarity with African descendants in the Diaspora to mark the abolition of slave trade. It takes place in the Cape Coast/Elimina region. It coincides with the PANAFEST in every two (2) years.

PANAFEST (Pan-African Historic Theatre Festival) - a celebration of African cultural values, history and civilization. It is a major biennial event and consists of performances and workshops in theatre, African dance, drama, music, cinema, poetry, colloquia and lectures. A sample of activities include the Grand Durbar of Chiefs in full costume, Rites of Passage programs, Slave March re-enactment, midnight candlelight vigils at Cape Coast Castle. It also showcases colourful traditional durbar of chiefs and people of African descent. It is celebrated in the historical towns of Cape Coast and Elmina. Celebrated every 2 years in August, the next being in 2009.

Other Festivals celebrated during August include:

Festival People Region of Ghana
Ahoba Kese Abura Central
Edim Kese Sekondi Western
Equadoto Ayeldu-Cape Coast Central
Apatwa Dixcove Western
Awubia Awutu Central


FETU AFAHYE (Harvest commemorating first contact with whites)
A colourful procession of chiefs, traditional warrior groups and social organisations amid drumming, dancing and firing of musketry and the offering of Mashed Yam to the Gods of the Fetu land for bountiful harvests. There is a uniqueness in the attire with every member of the group in rich colourful colours and the 7 'Asafo' Companies adorned in their traditional dress which depicts a fusion of the 'Fante' and European cultures. Sacrifice of a cow to the seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa. Cape Coast (Oguaa), 90 miles west of Accra. It takes place on the first Saturday of September.

ODWIRA (Harvest/Thanksgiving)
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 week-long celebration climaxes on Friday with a durbar of chiefs crowns the celebration with a procession through the town to the palace amidst drumming and dancing. Celebrated in most Akwapim towns during September and October with the most colourful festivities taking place in Akropong Traditional Area, 90 miles north of Accra, but also taking place in Kumasi, Amanokrom and Aburi in the Eastern Region.

Sometutuza Festival. A colourful festival of the 'SOME' people of Agbozume in the Eastern Region. It commemorates the exodus from their original home to their current settlement. Activites during the festival include a display of the different types of 'Ewe Kente' cloth, traditional and woven textile.

Ohum 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 is also to mark the first yam harvest of the year and to ask for blessings for the coming year.

Kobine Festival. A post-harvest festival celebrated by the Dagaaba people in the Upper West region. It is a 3 day festival where they thank the gods for a bountiful harvest and culminates in feasting and traditional dancing. A procession of the family heads is accompanied by groups of younger people dressed to represent hunters and elephants.

Other Festivals which take place during September include:-

Festival People Region of Ghana
Akwambo Enyam- Maim and Cape Coast Central
Nkronu (colourful) Sham/Beposo Western
Ayerye Enyam-Maim and Cape Coast Central
Akyempem Agona Ashanti
Kente Cloth Festival Agotime and others Volta


Ngmayem Festival is celebrated by the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo. It started in 1944 to foster tribal similarities and celebrate bumper harvests. Ngmayem means millet eating, millet being the staple diet of the Krobos when they lived in the mountains. However in more recent times the Krobos diet has changed and little significance is placed on the cultivation of millet so the term Ngma has come to apply generally to food. It is a week long celebration and different rites take place on different days, such as offer the first Yam, visit to Krobo Mountain, a Grand Durbar and a Thanksgiving Service.

Other Festivals celebrated in October include:-

Festival People of Region of Ghana
Ohumkyrie Kibi Eastern
Fofie Yam Nchiraa nr Wenchi


Symbolizes the migration of Anlos from the tyrannical ruler of Notsie in older day Togoland to their present homeland in Ghana. There are many ceremonies associated with the festival including a peace-making period, a purification ceremony and a re-enactment of the migration, which involves walking backwards, performed by women, children, the old and the young alike. Chiefs dress in colourful tradtional dress and sit in state to receive homage from their subjects, dancing, singing and merry-making go on throughout the festival. The main durbar takes place on the first Saturday in November. Anlo Traditional Area, 88 miles east of Accra.

Kwafie Festival is celebrated by the chiefs and people of Dormaa, a traditional area of the Brong Ahafo Region. It is a purification ceremony, the highlights of which are large bonfires in the courtyard of Abanprede Ase (the chief’s palace). It is believed that the Dormaas brought fire to Ghana and the legend is symbolically represented in a bonfire. It is a period when all descendants of the original Dormaas come home to a grand reunion. A weeklong celebration held between November and December, with highlights being a pageant of the royal courts with drumming, dancing and a display of paraphemalia.

Kakube is celebrated by the people of Nandom in the Upper Western Region. It is a ritual which allows the farmer to evenly distribute the yearly harvest to last to the next. There are a lot of Harvest dances associated with this festival. Traditionally held in November.

Agumatsa Waterfalls Festival. The people of the Wli Traditional area of the Volta region thank the gods for giving them the Wli waterfalls which they use for all domestic purposes. The festivities usually start at mid-day and continue until 5pm with dancing and other activities.

Kloyosikplemi Festival commemorates the day the British Colonial Government forced the Krobo people under Canon fire to move from their mountain abode to their present state. The festival takes place during the 1st and 2nd weeks of November. It attracts tourists so is used to raise revenue for the people with women selling a lot of beads and other handicrafts.

Apoo Festival is for the purification of the people, it is a week long festival which includes a variety of recreational cultural activity. It ends on the 6th day with a procession. Celebrated in Techiman and Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region.

Sasabobirim Festival is to remember the brave chief of the Awuah Domase who joined Yaa Asantewaa to fight the Europeans in the early part of the 20th century. It is a week long annual festival.

Other Festivals taking place during November include:

Festival People Region of Ghana
Fao (Harvest festival) Paga Upper East
Daa (1-12th November)   Tongo
Sabre Dance (9th November)   Lawra
Kobine (15th November)   Lawra
Boarim (28th November)   Tongo


EIOK (War festival)
A war festival to re-enact the ancient historic exploits of the Busa people. There is a durbar, as well as drumming, dancing, and thanksgiving to the gods. Location: Sandema. Traditionally held in December.

Muslim Festivals

Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from 2 to 10 days, depending on the region.

Eid al Fitr - celebrated by the Muslims in all the traditional areas of the Northern Region. It is of Ishlamic origin and signifies the end of Ramadan, the 29/30 days of fasting. It takes place on the first day of the lunar month of Konyurichugu.

Eid al Adha - A Muslim festival which takes place on the 10th of the lunar month after Chimsi. It celebrates the sacrifice of Ishmael to Allah by the prophet Abraham. It is also referred to as the Feast of the Sacrifice. It takes place in all traditional areas of the Northern region.

Originally linked with the birth of Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah. This festival has assumed a traditional character, the Wa Na prolongs his life by successfully jumping over a cow. A two-day festival full of pageantry, showmanship and horse riding. Tamale/Yendi, 425 miles north of Accra, and the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland and Nanumbaland.

Paare Gbiele - A festival celebrated by the Tumu in the Upper West region. The festival is associated with the new moon and 9 days after the holy month of Ramadan. It celebrates a bumper harvest.

Ashanti Festivals

In addition to festivals that take place in specific months that we have included above there are others that are far more frequent:-

ADAE and Akwasidae (festival of Purifying of the Ashantis’ ancestral stools)
Also referred to as the Festival of the Asante. Celebrated every 40th day (once every 6 weeks). Especially magnificent when it falls on a Sunday (Akwasidae) when the King, riding in a palanquin and adorned with all his gold ornaments comes out to receive the homage of his sub-chiefs and people. It is a colour procession with coloured canopies and umbrellas, drummers, dancers, horn-blowers and praise singers. The biggest festival of the year is the 9th festival, known as the Adaekese. During the festivals the Kings of Asante worship their ancestral stools and skeletons of the past Kings preserved at the Bantama mausoleum. Kumasi, 168 miles north of Accra.


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