Culture August 14, 2022 at 10:00 am

Homowo: Explore the hunger hooting festival of the Ga people of Ghana

Deborah Dzifa Makafui August 14, 2022 at 10:00 am

August 14, 2022 at 10:00 am | Culture

Ga Homowo festival. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Benson Ibeabuchi

Homowo originates with the Ga people of Ghana, a country in western Africa. The Homowo Festival is a month-long celebration of the harvest mainly celebrated by the Ga people in the Greater Accra area of Ghana.

Homowo, a Ga word, is defined as “hoot at hunger.” The Homowo tale dates back many years to the famine that supposedly struck the Accra region (now the capital of Ghana) and nearly wiped off this tribe. When the Ga people relocated to the current Accra region, they encountered terrible famine because of drought. They could grow corn and save the community when the rains eventually came in force. This is a celebration of the harvest and the triumph against poverty, hopelessness, and devastation.

Celebrations

Ten percent of the population of the nation is made up of the Ga people. For the majority of them, the Homowo celebration falls somewhere between the harvest festival, New Year’s celebration, and homecoming. This is a significant and joyful moment! In reality, the Homowo Festival is a season-long “festival.” It begins in May, which also marks the commencement of the millet crop and fishing season, respectively.

The celebration comes to a close with harvest, which typically occurs in late September. The Ga tribe is made up of several tribes, therefore festivals might happen at different periods. For instance, the Ga-mashie group observes the holiday a little earlier than the La group.

In the Ga state, Homowo is widely observed, with festivities reaching their peak in Ga mashie. Planting maize, which will be used to make the meal for the festival known as Kpokpoi or Kpekple, marks the beginning of the celebration. Since it is thought that making noise disturbs the gods, it is forbidden or forbidden during this time.

The lunch is served with palm nut soup, which is also dispersed throughout the community. Family chiefs and traditional leaders typically carry out this function. Marching down roads and streets while beating drums, yelling, painting faces, singing, and performing traditional dances are all part of the celebration.

The chief priests set aside “Homowo Day” each year. Typically, a Saturday in August is when it happens (or Tuesday in some smaller towns). Many different ethnic groups are permitted to participate in the Homowo celebration, despite the fact that it is a Ga tradition. This fosters unity among Ghanaians. On this day, there is typically heavy traffic and road closures to make room for the festival.

The Ga tribe’s Homowo festival is thought to have a connection to the Jewish tribe and its ancient tradition of the Passover feast. 

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