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Festivals

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.
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.

Panafest

This festival is held very summer. It is celebrates Ghanian 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.

 

 

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.
The Homowo festival starts with the planting of crops before the May rainy season and continues through August. The actual time for the August celebration is determined by the Chief Priests after they consult with the Lagoon Oracles.
Sometime in June there is a total ban on noise throughout the State, and fishing is limited to certain days. In early August the celebrations begin with a special Yam festival in honor of the Spirits, the eternal protectors of the Ga people.
All Ga people are required by traditional law to return to the homes of their father’s for the celebration of the Homowo Festival. The main celebration starts with the arrival of all the Ga people who live outside the State.  During the appointed week in the month of August thousands of people come from near and far to all the Ga cities.
On the Thursday before the main celebration thousands of people arrive from the outlying villages with their harvested crops of all kind. They are referred to as “Thursday People” or (Soobii). The Soobii, the local townspeople, and parades of musicians meander through the streets all day and into the night. It is a time for romance. Young people meet each other, get acquainted, and start new relationships.
At dawn on Friday a Memorial Service is held to honor all those who died during the previous year. Crying is heard from homes and streets all over the Ga State. Later on in the morning there is a Birthday Celebration for all the Twins. Twins and all multiple births are revered by the Ga people and are regarded as special blessings.
The celebrations continue on Saturday, the Homowo Day itself. Food for the Festival is cooked in large quantities.  The special dish, “kpekpele,” is prepared by steaming fermented corn meal. This is eaten with traditional palm soup prepared with lots and lots of smoked fish.
During the day each sub-chief in each city sprinkles some kpekpele at prescribed locations. This is done to please the gods and the ancestors. The head of each family also sprinkles kpekpele in special places. After these rituals are performed, people begin dancing and drumming through the streets. Visitors and total strangers are encouraged to visit any home. The homeowners welcome them, invite them in, and insist that the visitors share in the traditional meal.
The celebrations continue all Saturday night, and even until Sunday morning – which begins the Ga New Year.
On Sunday morning the preparations start all over for the coming year.

1 Comment
 

  • Gerri Samons

    February 22, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    Hey Uncle death, pick me up at the airport man, its time to ride on some of these mothefuckers…Lol [Reply]

Comments are closed.

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