Homowo is an annual festival celebrated by the chiefs and people of Ga-Adangme traditional area, in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Homowo Literally means "Hooting at hunger".
Purpose and History
It is celebrated to remind the people of their victory over a great famine which they experienced in the Olden days when they were migrating from their ancestral homeland to occupy their present area of settlement. As the famine came to an end and they had a good harvest, they hooted at the hunger for which they had suffered. Hence/the name "Homowo" which means hooting at hunger.
Another account has it that, the festival was delivered from the Jewish Passover. The second school of thought attributed the unleavened com bread to that of Jewish unleavened flour bread as the ritual food, the red clay painted at the door posts and the way the people eat in hurry during the festival are similar to the traditions of the Jewish Passover feast.
The Ga-Adangme traditional area comprises of the Ga-mashi Accra, Osu, La, Teshie, Nungua, Prampram, Kpone, Ningo and Tema. The customary rites for sowing millet or corn (nmaadumo) begin in the Ga traditional calendar to mark the preparation for the celebration of the festival. The sowing of the com is done by seven chief priests (Agoaabi) of the traditional area. It is sown
On different days by the various shrines. For example, ’Dantu’ on Monday, Sakumo on Tuesday and Naa Korle and Naa Afieye on Friday. In the evening of the ’sowing day’ each shrine priest keeps vigil with prayers to ask the earth godess (asaase yaa) to bless the land with an abundant harvest.
Before the festival, a ban is placed on drumming, dancing, merry-making and any other form of noise making in the Ga-Adangme traditional area. The ban starts with the "nmaadumo" and lasts for thirty days. Special rites are performed by the priest and the Gbese Mantse to mark the end of the ban.