This is an annual event and is celebrated in Ghana.
The Ga tribe celebrate this festival starting in the month of August(annual) when they plant crops. This is right before the start of the rainy season. They also perform the Kpanlogo dance.
This festival is celebrated to commemorate the famine that took place in pre-colonial Ghana. The meaning of the word “homowo” means make fun of hunger in the language used by the Ga people.
There are times when the rains fail and people have to go without food. This happened even here in Ghana – the rainy season returned again and when the people had enough food to eat, they decided to celebrate this festival to remember all those who had suffered from starvation.
The celebrations are quite boisterous with people marching down streets beating drums, chanting and participating in traditional dances. On this day, roads are blocked in all cities and town to accommodate the participants. Even though it is traditionally a Ga Festival, other tribes also join in and enjoy the festive atmosphere. There is also a period where people don’t make any noise because they believe that this would hinder the crops from bearing fruit.
This festival is a great showcase for the traditions and values of the Ga people.
The dates for the celebration – generally held in August – are picked by a Dantu priest. He makes some potions and sprinkles them on the royal family to ward off evil spirits and protect against diseases.
Events like boat races are also held to add to the celebratory atmosphere. People eat a special meal made from maize called kpokpoi and palm nut sout.
This festival is a commemoration of hard work and determination – it serves as a reminder that people can succeed at what they do. It is to show to the people that with hard work and determination, they can succeed in everything they do. Just as their ancestors did, in the face of hunger and starvation, they did just sit down, but worked hard to overcome the famine.
That is the spirit of HOMOWO!