Thanksgiving and the Homowo Festival

Thanksgiving is certainly not the only celebration of the harvest and thanks around the world.

The Homowo Festival is a month long celebration of the harvest mainly celebrated by the Ga people in the Greater Accra area of Ghana.  The festival is not necessarily held at one specific time but is usually held near August. Homowo is typically translated to mean “hooting at hunger” or sometimes “shame to hunger.” As the story goes, when the Ga people first came to the area, there was a severe famine for a number of years. Eventually, the Ga people fasted and prayed, then began farming and had an excellent crop.

The sprinkling of kpoikpoi during the Homowo Festival

To shadow the famine before the harvest, there is a month long ban on drumming, signing, and general noise-making for a month until the festival begins. When the festival begins, these bans are lifted and processions and parties ensue.

The Homowo Festival is celebrated not with turkey but with a kpoikpoi – the traditional Homowo food made of maize and palm oil. Kpoikpoi is also sprinkled across the ground in processions to the gods and ancestors for spiritual protection. Learn more about Kpoikpoi in this “Lets Talk Food” video. There is also a seasonal type of fish that is usually prepared during the festival.

Watch a short clip about Homowo from CCTV Africa below.