Traditional festivals in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso

Carpe Diem: Seize the Moment. Here is a saying that describes the attitude of today’s West African populations, which allows them to enjoy life to the full and with great joy. Many and varied festivals are celebrated in West Africa. Each one brings a community together to share the dances, songs and music of their own unique tradition. The dances can be wild, the songs powerful, the rhythm of the music hypnotic and the costumes and masks multicolored and very fancy. Places can vary from the greatness of a royal court filled with dignitaries dressed in tribal costumes, to the simplicity offered by the shade of a mango tree on a lakeside under which villagers fill the air with their cheerful celebrations. Wherever you are you can be sure you will be welcomed warmly and invited to join the ceremony.

This happy feeling spreads throughout the daily life, whether it be in the chatters of women selling tomatoes on the market, children dancing on their way to school, loud gatherings around the water pump, fishermen straining at their nets to land their catch, or the faithful heading to the mosque, the church or the fetish. Everywhere you will find radiant smiles lighting up faces as the visitor is welcomed. Let the people of West Africa share with you their lands, cultures, their rich heritage and harmonious atmosphere.

You will find below some festivals you can attend during a tour to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, with TransAfrica.

Gelede, Traditional Festival of the Fon and Yoruba people in South Benin

Egun, traditional Celebration of the Fon and Yoruba people in South Benin

Zangbeto, traditional Celebration of the Fon in South Benin

Voodoo, a traditional religion on the Gulf of Guinea Coast (Togo)

Voodoo, a traditional religion on the Gulf of Guinea Coast (Benin)

Fire dance, traditional Festival of the Tem in Central Togo

Ashanti Funerals, Traditional Ceremonies to Commemorate the Deceased in Ghana

Akwasidae, traditional Festival at the Royal Court of the Ashanti King in Ghana

Bwaba dancing masks, traditional celebration in Burkina

Dipo, initiation for girls in Krobo land (Ghana)

Bakatue, the main festival celebrated in Elmina (Ghana)

Dancing masks in March and April. When the masks invoke the rain (Burkina Faso)

GBAGBA Festival, Mont Agou – Togo (August)

Voodoo festival Epe Ekpe in Glidji, end of August – beginning of September (Togo)

Awukudae, traditional Ashanti festival (Ghana)

Millet Festival, harvest celebration in Krobo land (end of October Ghana)

International Festival of the Dahomean Cultures 10th edition from 8th to 16th Dec. 2012 at Abomey (Benin)

Gandaxi Ceremony – Nov. 2012 – Mar. 2013 at Abomey, (Benin)

Festival of the Black Divinity, December (Aneho-Togo)