14 Popular Festivals In Ghana - Updated 2021

festivals in ghana
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Updated

Ghana is an African nation of 28 million citizens, located along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The beautiful coastal towns of Cape Coast and Elmina are known for their colonial buildings, native temples, and castles that once played a major role in the mass suffering of those forced into slavery and traded between the Americas and the Caribbean. Visitors to Kakum National Park can enjoy walking under a treetop canopy while monkeys call out playfully in the background and elephants parade through the dense rainforest. After exploring the golden-sand beaches, stunning Wli Waterfalls, and Aburi Botanical Gardens, check out the best Airbnbs and this list of the best festivals in Ghana to enhance your visit.

1. Fetu Afahye

Fetu Afahye
Source: Photo by Flickr user febelix used under CC BY 2.0

The citizens and chiefs celebrate every September a festival that commemorates when their 77 gods intervened on their behalf to save Cape Cost from a deadly plague. To remember this deliverance, the durbar and warrior group join in slaughtering livestock and offering communal thanksgiving sacrifices to the deities during this celebration in Ghana. Join in observing women adorned in tribal garments drumming and dancing along to the music while the procession makes its way through the city. Besides men and children dressed in traditional clothing, the chiefs make their presence known by carrying giant umbrellas and sceptres as they walk side by side the tribespeople.

Fetu Afahye

Address: Cape Coast, Central Ghana

Takes place: August - September

2. Homowo

Benson Ibeabuchi Homowo 2018
Source: Photo by user Benson Ibeabuchi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Ga people celebrate the agricultural season each May, where they dance through the music-filled streets of the capital of Accra. This traditional festival in Ghana commemorates when the country faced desperate times due to a terrible famine. Eventually, the famine ended, and a large harvest of vegetation and fish were provided by Ghana’s gods to sustain the people. To remember this time in their history, Ghana’s chiefs and citizens take part in a large festival with folk singing, food and drink offerings, and prayers to their gods for another fruitful harvest.

Homowo

Address: Accra, Ghana

Website: Homowo, Accra

Takes place: May

3. Asafotufiam

Acrobatic-display-in-jamestown-accra
Source: Photo by user Fquasie used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Each August, the chiefs and tribespeople of Ada of Greater Accra celebrate the victorious triumphs fought by their ancestors in battling the Asfotufiam tribe for settlement in this region. As with other celebrations, at this event, the chief and the citizens get dressed up in traditional clothing to perform a local dance called the Kpatsa. During the festivities, observers are treated to shows of warriors clashing against one another in luxurious garments to recall the battles of the past. Besides war victories, the harvest season is celebrated during the festival, with music and lively dancing by men and women adorned in variegated beads and other embellishments.

Asafotufiam

Address: Greater Accra, Ghana

Takes place: August

4. Akwasidae

Ashanti chief in Ghana
Source: Photo by user Paul5263 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Akwasidae is celebrated to strengthen the bonds between the queens, chiefs, and the citizens of the Ashanti kingdom. During this special cultural festival, Manhyia Palace opens its doors to everyone—to experience the glitz and glamour usually hidden out of sight, away from the public eye. During the procession, there is much fanfare, with horns, drums, cultural dancing, and colourfully decorated costumes. The chiefs are presented high above the procession on a palanquin lift, which adds to the spectacle of this grand celebration that takes place every six weeks.

Akwasidae

Address: Ashanti Kingdon, Ghana

Takes place: Every 6 weeks

5. Aboakyir

Fancy festival Winneba 7
Source: Photo by user SAgbley used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Join in this unique celebration where the Effutu-Winneba people divide into two groups of hunters to enter the forest in search of antelope. The antelope is brought back alive to show the people the strength, power, and courage of the warriors. Once the animal is presented to the people, sacrificial rituals to the gods are performed. As with other cultural celebrations, at this gathering, the chiefs, queens, elders, and warriors lead the parade through the streets in colourful costumes while joining the people in native singing and dancing.

Aboakyir

Address: Effutu-Winneba, Ghana

Takes place: May

6. Hogbetsotso

Hogb1
Source: Photo by user JY midey used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Each September, the community joins together to celebrate the exodus story from Agorkoli’s reign of terror—as the people escaped the ruler’s fearsome army by walking backwards to Notsie. During this peaceful ceremony, the village takes part in sweeping clean and burning all garbage to engage in the purification ceremony. The celebration commences at Volta Estuary and continues until the procession reaches Mono River in Benin. The highlight of the festival is when the chieftains get dressed up in their luxurious garments and sit in state before the tribespeople.

Hogbetsotso

Address: Volta, Ghana

Takes place: November

7. Chale Wote Festival

A lady painting and decorating her face during Chale Wote Street Art Festival
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Noahalorwu used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Each August, Jamestown hosts the colourful Chale Wote Street Art Festival, which draws an international crowd of artists and educators, along with a throng of people from various career fields. During this vibrant festival celebrated in Ghana, themes are chosen for the artists to create out-of-the-box innovations. As with any celebration, there are live musical performances and presentations having to do with the culture of Ghana. Visitors to Accra should try to include this creative, mind-blowing festival in their itineraries to see Ghana’s most talented perform and design alongside the world’s best creative geniuses.

Chale Wote Festival

Address: Accra, Ghana

Website: Chale Wote Festival

Takes place: August

8. Nkabom Literary Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Each August, Accra hosts the Nkabom Literary Festival, which draws local and international poets and novelists. This is a time to reflect on the impact of literature on the world as a whole. During this festival, there are illustrators, painters, and theatre performers who participate in lectures, readings, and exhibits. Musicians and DJs add their talent by taking the stage during this community-conscious event to promote the positive effects and essentials skills of reading.

Nkabom Literary Festival

Address: Accra, Ghana

Website: Nkabom Literary Festival

Takes place: August

9. Bakatue

bakatue fest
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steven Belcher used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Each July, the chiefs and people put on their best cultural dress to join in drumming and dancing—to start off the fishing season. Join in watching the vibrantly coloured canoes sail across Benya Lagoon to celebrate the commencement of the much-awaited season. During this unique celebration, the people make sacrificial offerings to the gods—as in the net-casting ceremony, where the catch is presented to the deities. This festival is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should be added to any visitor’s itinerary when visiting Ghana.

Bakatue

Address: Elmina, Ghana

Takes place: July

10. Sabolai Festival

Sabolai Radio Music Festival-13
Source: Photo by user Owula kpakpo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Join the party by visiting Accra in December for Ghana’s major music festival—Sabolai Festival. Each December, Accra hosts the most exciting musical event of the year, which celebrates Ghana’s musical talents on a large stage before the international community. Be sure to get your tickets early so as not to miss out on this extraordinary African indie music festival—to watch the most talented artists on both the mainstream and alternative scenes. The spectacle provides an opportunity for new music to be experienced by fans. Both established artists and up-and-comers from the contemporary, fusion, and traditional music scenes get together to perform at this gathering.

Sabolai Festival

Address: Accra, Ghana

Website: Sabolai Festival

Takes place: December

11. Fiok

Posted by Bulsa Heritage and Cultural Society on Friday, 13 July 2018

Watch as fearsome warriors parade through the streets dressed up in their traditional armour and horned helmets, with weapons in hand. Every December, the Builsas recreate the historical accounts of their victorious battles over other native tribes. Attendees will enjoy watching the cultural dancing and rhythmic drumming during this fierce war festival. All in the family should enjoy the musical and cultural aspects, storytelling, and passionate theatrical reenactments along with the local people.

Fiok

Address: Sandema, Ghana

Takes place: December

12. Apoo

festivals in ghana | apoo
Source: gravygristle on Instagram

This week-long festival includes numerous recreational activities for the community to enjoy participating in, alongside the village leaders. This celebration is held every December and is used to help cleanse the community of evil, calamities, worries, and anything against their cultural values. Another aim of this festival is that of peacemaking—during the thirteen days of freedom, each member of the community is allowed to publicly air their grievances to others in the form of proverbs and songs. On the last day of the celebration, the community god is carried through the town to thank all members who helped in throwing another successful festival.

Apoo

Address: Techiman & Wenchi, Ghana

Takes place: November - December

13. Accra Food Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Accra Food Festival on Sunday, July 26, 2015

Every September, Accra puts on a family-friendly affair—where foodies from all over the world come to indulge in the amazing culinary innovations presented at the Accra Food Festival. Colourful tents house the most mouthwatering, delicious cuisine at prices that are within reach of all attendees. Festival-goers can expect to savour the best of what Ghana has to offer in both traditional food and non-traditional, including drink options. International guests can expect to experience culinary delights that have been carefully prepared, in a friendly and warm environment put on by extremely generous and hospitable locals.

Accra Food Festival

Address: Acccra, Ghana

Website: Accra Food Festival

Takes place: September

14. Wilaa

AGBBA
Source: Photo by user JY midey used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Every April, the Takpo people and their community leaders gather together to take part in a celebration to give thanks to their ancestors. During this thanksgiving festival, there are lavish costumes worn by those taking part in the procession, along with the display of their amazing culturally rich traditions. During the festival, the ancestors are called upon to provide guidance to and protection over the Takpo community. Also, the chiefs discuss with the tribe any topic relating to the economy, affairs that affect their way of life, cultural values, etc.

Wilaa

Address: Takpo, Ghana

Takes place: March - April

Experience Ghana's cultural side

Ghana rewards its visitors with the marvelous things to do and places to visit. While exploring Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in search of Ghana’s various primates, don’t forget to make time to squeeze in some of the culturally rich experiences and learn about some things Ghana is famous for from its museums and colonial buildings.

During a visit to the country, make certain to check out this list of festivals and events to experience stunning pageantry, delicious cuisine, historical re-enactments of fierce battles, and much more. After fitting all these activities into an already action-packed itinerary, visitors will need some downtime for rejuvenation at secluded Bojo Beach before departing.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Writer living in British Columbia who loves to travel and explore new destinations. I also enjoy engaging in new activities during my travels such as Hydrospeeding in France. Solo travelled to...Read more

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