From May 14th to June 14th, the city of Accra, Ghana is quiet. A ban on all music and noise has been placed on the city by the Ga Traditional Council (GTC). The Ga people, the original inhabitants of Accra observe a festival during this period called the Homowo Festival. Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, the Acting President of the GTC reportedly announced that a monitoring team would “visit flashy points and arrest recalcitrant churches, noisemakers and those who will impersonate or imposters.”
Homowo, which translates to “to hoot at hunger,” dates back to pre-colonial Ghana when famine once happened in the history of the Ga people. In the absence of rain, there was a poor harvest. When the rains returned to normal, it was celebrated with the creation of the Homowo festival. A dance called kpanlogo is performed during the festival. Asides the banning of noise, fishing is also banned in the lagoons until the festival is over.
On different days various events happen, such as the twins day. All twins in the town dress in white calico and parade around. There is also a boat race between the traditional warriors referred to as the Asafo groups. A special meal made from maize called kpokpoi is served with palm nut soup.
The festival is also a time for reconciliation across families. Family issues are discussed across households and disputes are settled. The traditions of the Homowo festival are adhered to strictly. Churches also respect the festival and stick to the rules. Libation is poured to the spirits and ancestors and hunger is hooted at and ridiculed.
Other food festivals on the continent include the Eyo Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. The Reed Dance Festival in South Africa and Swaziland, amongst others that have become a source of tourism for various countries.