Culture October 31, 2018 at 02:00 pm

5 African festivals to celebrate instead of Halloween

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson October 31, 2018 at 02:00 pm

October 31, 2018 at 02:00 pm | Culture

Fancy Dress festival- Ghana

The Junkanoo festival originates from Ghana in West Africa particularly among the Ahanta, Fanti and Akan people who call it the Fancy Dress Festival. In Ghana, the Fancy Dress festival is celebrated every year during Christmas and New Year season.

The festival has been likened to Halloween in recent times because of similarity in fancy outfits and costumes, but many cultural elements do not make it as similar to Halloween as expected.

Started in 1709, the festival was held in honour of John Kenu ( known to Germans and Dutch as John Cani and to the British as John Conny) for defeating the Dutch who took control over the Ahanta land and sold its people into slavery.

In this festival, the masqueraders are harmless and never attack but cause laughter and celebrations among the locals. Their hideous masks were made to depict the whites who for a long time had mocked the Black race.

The festival also found its way into the Bahamas and parts of Jamaica in the same fashion and is marked without the tradition of disturbing Westerners.

In the Bahamas, it is known as Junkanoo Festival, an adulteration of the name John Kenu.

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