Read about the origin, history and celebration of Thanksgiving Day (Homowo Festival) in Africa.
Fundoo Times: Festivals: Thanksgiving Day: Thanksgiving Day in Africa

Thanksgiving Day in Africa

Origin and History of Thanksgiving Day in Africa

Africa is a continent which is well known for celebrating colorful and vibrant festivals. Homowo is one of the African festivals celebrated by the Ga people from the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The word ‘Homowo’ means ‘making fun of hunger’ or ‘hooted at hunger’. According to the traditional African history, there was a time when rains completely stopped pouring. Hence, a deadly famine spread throughout the southern Accra Plains, where majority of the Ga people resided. Finally when rains returned and ended the drought; food became plentiful that people celebrated the occasion with happiness. Since then Homowo is a festival which is renowned for the bumper harvest that ended the hunger of the Ga people. The occasion is generally celebrated in the month of August, which marks the end of the rainy season.

Local name: Homowo Festival

Ways to celeberate Homowo Festival in Africa

Homowo is a well known African harvest festival celebrated by the Ga community. On this day, Kpokpoi (the festival dish) is sprinkled on the gods and ancestors for spiritual protection. It involves the purification of the harvested crops before people eat it. The rest is later distributed among the village folk. There is a ban on noise making a month before the celebration. But on the festival day, processions are carried out through the principal streets with traditional drumming and dancing. During the procession people sing and dance with lots of spirit. Dancers wear traditional masks and outfits. Any woman (no matter the status), should accept a hug from a man on the festival street between 12 noon to 6:00pm. This is considered as the climax of the Homowo festival.