Celebrating the Homowo – Festivals in Ghana

I visited Ghana last year in May. It was a low season, so I got cheap flights to Ghana easily, that time the only direct one you could find was Ghana International Airline. The journey was longer than I expected, involved a touch and go at a German Airport but we were not required to come out of the Plane. It took only around 30 minutes. I arrived Ghana, early in morning, I think its actually the best time to be there. The sun was rising when I walked out of the Accra International Airport dragging my bags. I could feel the sudden blow of pleasant but hot air though it was just early morning. The strange freshness filled up my soul. The kind you feel only on a foreign land. I looked different among all the people I could see there. There were quite a few cab drivers trying to convince me, but I waited for my Hotel’s pick up. It was a bit late though but was quite a relief to see them coming with my name on a chart paper. The sun was high up by then.

I stayed in an average hotel, as I planned to stay out all day long on business and sightseeing in evenings. The reception was like those we had in 60’s in England. The red carpet in the doorway depicted the old style furnishing. The room was smaller than I thought, but I was glad to find it clean (but I was still a bit hesitant since all hotel rooms have this kind of strange misty about them, who slept there before me, when was the last time it got a dry clean and all). Any ways, I became comfy soon.

After my business finished in the afternoon, I asked my friendly bell boy, Eric, if he recommends any place I should go sightseeing. He was more than happy to take me to the “Homowa Festival”. This is the point when my affection grew for the country, its vibrant history and rich culture.

I did know that there are several rites, rituals and unique festivals that you only get to see in Ghana, but Homowo’s history I found most impressive. Where other festivals cover the rite of passage child birth, puberty, marriage, death or mate selection, Homowo celebrated the rainy season in memory of the longest draught Ghanaian Nation fought with will, spirit and a smile on their face. These festivals not only serve as the means of passing history to the young generation but also serve as means of bringing the families and friends together, eliminating the differences and celebrations nearly throughout the year. Even if you are flying in the lowest season, or the peak traveling season, still you will be able to find cheap flights to Accra, Ghana to come and be a part of these amazing events, no matter where you are.

To tell you a little more about the Homowo Festival, the word “Homowo” refers to “making fun of hunger”. It is celebrated by the “Ga” tribe and It refers to the time, long long ago, when it stopped raining in Ghana and the sea closed its gates. The southern Accra Plains, inhabited by the Ga people, were severally struck by a deadly famine. But together they soared through every difficulty and challenge time threw at them and finally when the harvest arrived and plentiful food became available they celebrated, making it a memory for generations to learn from.

Festivals in Ghana are a treat; the celebrations are richly colored and joyous with gaily dressed men and women, decorated palanquins, traditional umbrellas, amazing drummers, thrilling African dances and warriors discharging ancient muskets.

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