The Ga Traditional Council has announced May 9, 2022, as the day for the commencement of its annual month-long ban on drumming and noise-making in the Ga State.
It said the ban will be preceded by a ritual of cleansing of the sacred forest as the first activity towards the celebration of the 2022 Homowo festival.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ga Traditional Council, Nii Lartey Anum Tetteh, while addressing the press, said during the period of the ban, they will fast and pray for the peace and unity of the country.
“The Ga Traditional Council announces to the public that the 2022 Ga Homowo festival will commence with cleansing the sacred farm on the 2nd of May 2022. This will be followed by the ban on drumming and noise-making from the 9th day of May to the 9th day of June 2022. During this period, the Ga state will fast and pray for rainfall and a bumper harvest. The Ga State will also pray for the country and its citizens to continue to keep the peace, love, tranquillity, and good spirit.”
Nii Lartey Anum said the Ga State expects churches to carry out their activities within their premises and also avoid clapping of hands and the use of musical instruments.
Other guidelines by the Ga State include;
1. All worship centers should confine their activities to within their church premises.
2. Noise making including clapping of hands, the use of tambourine, and other musical instruments should be avoided during this period.
3. The positioning of loudspeakers outside church premises and mosques is banned during this period.
4. Roadside evangelism and the use of megaphones and other loudspeakers should be totally avoided during this period.
5. Funeral rites and their related activities are also banned within this period.
The lifting of the ban will be at the forecourt of Gbese Mantse’s palace on June 9, 2022.
According to Nii Lartey Anum, a task force has been put together within the various Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to work with the police to monitor, ensure compliance and prosecute persons found to be defying the ban.
He further warned citizens to “refrain from making derogatory remarks about the rites, customs, and practices and beliefs of the Ga people.”
The festival starts in the month of August with the planting of crops (mainly maize and yam) before the rainy season starts.
During the festival, they perform a dance called Kpanlogo.
The Ga people celebrate Homowo in remembrance of the famine that once happened in their history in pre-colonial Ghana.
The celebration includes marching down roads and streets beating drums, chanting, face painting, singing, and traditional dances. Even though the celebration of Homowo is a Ga tradition, many other ethnic groups are welcome to also join in the celebration.
The Homowo Festival is celebrated 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.