The centuries-old traditions of the people of Ghana and the diversity of the distinct ethnic groups, have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana.
To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of daily life. Customary leaders have historical authority over tribal and family matters, and customary lands are an important heritage.
Important events in life are marked by special rites and rituals. Child naming, puberty initiations, marriage and death are marked by family ceremonies, while seasonal festivals bring a whole people or clan together in spectacular fashion.
A common feature is the belief in the Supreme Being, in life after death and in the nearness of dead ancestors. Festivals also recall past events, and consecrate a new season with confidence and hope.
Traditional fetish shrines, sometimes concealed but more often displayed, are important centres of worship and traditional healing, and an influential part of traditional life.
Of special significance are the Posuban shrines, particular to the Fante communities in Southern Ghana. Fanciful buildings lavishly decorated with folk art, they are religious centres for Fante warrior organisations.
Many festivals include thrilling durbars of chiefs, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers process in decorated palanquins, shaded by traditional umbrellas, and supported by drummers and warrior discharging ancient muskets.
In Ashanti, the Adae and Akwasidae festivals vividly bring the splendour of the Asante kingdom to life, when the Ashantehene (King), adorned in all his gold regalia, comes out to receive the homage of his people. The Asantehene’s dancers, praise-singers and horn-blowers surround the King and his procession, in a never-to-be-forgotten spectacle. The dates of many festivals are determined by traditional calendars, often decided close to the event.
- Apafram of the Akwamu, Eastern Region
- The Rice Festival of Akpafu, Volta region
- The Begurm of Walewale, Tamale and Yendi
- Papa Festival in Kumawu, Ashanti Region
- Asikoe in ASnfoega, Volta Region;
- Volo in the Akuse area;
- Damba of Dagbon in the Northern Region
- Dipo at Manya and Yilo Krobo, Eastern Region
- Most villages and towns in the Volta and Eastern regions use Easter to celebrate festivals.
- 1st Sat. is the famous Aboakyer Festival in Wnneba
- Donkyi Festival at Mamase, Brong Ahfo Region
- Don at Bolgatanga, Upper East Region
- Beng at Sonyi Kipo near Bole, Northern Region
- Ohumkan at Kyebi
- Asafua of the Akim, Kibi; Gyenpren at Tafo
- Ahobaa at Enyan-Kakraba
- Apiba at Senya Beraku, Central region
- 1st Tuesday is the Bakatue Festival in Elmina, Central Region
- Bonbei, Ekeyem Kofi
- The Kundum, Western Region
- 1st Sat. is Asafotu- Fiam at Ada, Eastern Region
- Homowo in and around Accra, Greater Accra Region
- Fetu at Cape Coast
- Eguado To and Ahbaa Kese at Abura, Central Region
- Edim Kese at Senkodi
- Apatwa, Dixcive, Western region
- 1st Sat. is Fetu Afahye Festival, Cape Cost; Central Region
- Odwira Festival in Akropong, Amanokrom and Aburi, Eastern Region
- Akeyempem at Agona, Ashanti Region
- Kundum at Esiama, Western Region
- Hogbetsotso, Volta Region
- Adae Kese, the grandest of all Ashanti festivals in Kumasi
- Fae, harvest feast at Paga, Upper East Region
- Kafie Festival, Dormaa Brong-Ahafo
- Yam Festival at Anfoega, Volta region