Events in Ghana

The centuries-old traditions of the people of Ghana and the diversity of the distinct ethnic groups have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana.

To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of daily life. Customary leaders have historical authority over tribal and family matters, and customary lands are an important heritage.

Important events in life are marked by special rites and rituals. Child naming, puberty initiations, marriage and death are marked by family ceremonies, while seasonal festivals bring a whole people or clan together in spectacular fashion.

A common feature is the belief in the Supreme Being, in life after death and in the nearness of dead ancestors. Festivals also recall past events, and consecrate a new season with confidence and hope.

Traditional fetish shrines, sometimes concealed but more often displayed, are important centres of worship and traditional healing, and an influential part of traditional life.

Of special significance are the Posuban shrines, particular to the Fante communities in Southern Ghana. Fanciful buildings lavishly decorated with folk art, they are religious centres for Fante warrior organisations.

Many festivals include thrilling durbars of chiefs, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers process in decorated palanquins, shaded by traditional umbrellas, and supported by drummers and warrior discharging ancient muskets.

In Ashanti, the Adae and Akwasidae festivals vividly bring the splendour of the Asante kingdom to life, when the Ashantehene (King), adorned in all his gold regalia, comes out to receive the homage of his people. The Asantehenes dancers, praise-singers and horn-blowers surround the King and his procession, in a never-to-be-forgotten spectacle. The dates of many festivals are determined by traditional calendars, often decided close to the event.

 

Major Festivals

Major Festivals

Festival
Month Town & Region
Edina Buronya New Year Elmina, Central
Adae and Akwasidae Every six weeks throughout the year Kumasi, Ashanti
Ngmayen March/April Odumase, Eastern
Gologo March Upper East
Dipo May Krobo Odumasi, Eastern
Aboakyer May Winneba, Central
Bakatue July Elmina, Central
Asafotufiam July/August Ada
Odambea August Saltpond, Central
Damba August Upper West
Kumdum August/November Western
Homowo August/September Accra
Fetu Afahye September Cape Coast, Central
Kobine September Upper West
Odwira September/October Akropong, Aburi Eastern
Hogbetsotso November Anloga, Volta

Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1st January
Eid ul Fitr Variable (As the position of the Moon (Ramadan Festival) determines the day it is celebrated)
Independence Day 6th March
Good Friday Variable
Easter Monday Variable
Eid ul Adha 70 days (10 weeks) from Eid ul Fitr (Festival of Sacrifice)
Workers’ Day 1st May
Africa Day 25th May
Republic Day 1st July
Farmers’ Day 1st Friday in December
Christmas Day 25th December
Boxing Day 26th December