Celebrate the Culture-Packed Odwira Festival in September & October

The people of Akan tribe in Ghana take great pride in their history and culture. One of the most important festivals of this community is the Odwira Festival, celebrated every year in the months of September and October. This festival is a grand affair with many traditions, rituals, music, dance and food.

The name ‘Odwira’ means ‘purification’ in the local language and symbolizes the renewal of the spirit of the tribe.

The festival celebrates the end of the harvest season and marks the beginning of a new year.

The belief is that after the harvest, the community must purify itself and the land to bring forth a bountiful new year.

The festival is also a time for the people to express their gratitude to the gods and ancestors for their blessings.

It is a time for the community to come together, reconcile any differences and strengthen their bonds.

The first day of the festival starts with an ‘Akwasidae’ ceremony. This is a royal parade where the chief and his elders, wearing traditional regalia, are carried in a palanquin with drumming, dancing and singing.

The chiefs make offerings to the gods and spiritually cleanse themselves in a sacred ceremony.

This is followed by a procession of chiefs and people from various villages, each displaying their finest traditional attire.

The highlight of the festival is the ‘Akuapem Adae Kese’ (Grand Parade of Chiefs) held on the second Sunday of the festival.

The chiefs, adorned with gold and jewels, sit under a canopy and pour libations.

They are accompanied by traditional drummers and dancers, who showcase their skills and cultural heritage.

Visitors can also witness the display of traditional martial arts and firing of muskets as a sign of protection against evil spirits.

The festival is also a time for feasting on sumptuous local dishes such as ‘fufu’ (pounded cassava and plantain), ‘akple’ (corn dough) and ‘waakye’ (rice and beans).

In addition to the traditional activities, the festival also includes modern events such as beauty pageants, fashion shows, musical concerts and art exhibitions.

The streets fill with vendors selling colorful traditional wares, handicrafts and souvenirs.

Tourists can also participate in workshops to learn about batik dyeing, basket weaving and traditional drumming and dancing.

The festival is not only a celebration of tradition and culture, but also a boost to the local economy.

The town becomes a hub of activity, attracting visitors from all over the country and beyond.

It is also an opportunity for the younger generation to learn about their heritage and keep their culture alive.

Some of the must-visit sites during the festival include the Akosombo Dam, the Aburi Botanical Gardens, and the historical Ashanti Kingdom.

The festival is also a great time to explore the natural beauty of Ghana, with its stunning beaches, waterfalls, and wildlife reserves.

Don’t forget to try some local delicacies during the festival, such as the spicy ‘shito’ (black pepper sauce) and refreshing ‘sobolo’ (hibiscus drink).

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