The Akuapem Traditional Council has announced the launch of Odwira festivities for 2019.
Dubbed Odwira Unlimited 2019 – ‘Okuapeman te ase’, this year’s festival continues in the tradition of being a staple in Ghana’s colourful, vibrant and diverse cultural expression, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate themes of victory, gratitude and harvest.
In addition, Odwira Unlimited 2019 coincides with and is linked to the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”, which marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown Virginia.
For generations, the Odwira Festival has been celebrated by the people of Akropong, Amanokrom and Lateh in the Eastern Region. The Festival was initiated by the 19th Okuapehene of Akuapem, Nana Addo Dankwa 1 who ruled from 1811 to 1835. First celebrated in October 1826, its significance is linked to the victory of the people of Okuapeman over the then-powerful Ashanti army during the historic battle of Katamansu near Dodowa in 1826.
Being a Yam Festival, traditionally, the timing of Odwira also coincides with the harvest season when there is abundant food; gratitude for the harvest is especially expressed in the “feeding the Ancestors.
Commenting on this year’s celebrations, Nana Afua Nketia Obuo II (Queen Mother of Akuapem Traditional area) said, “Odwira has always been a time of great cultural and spiritual significance when the peoples Okuapeman, and all who celebrate, present themselves anew to the Ancestors and the Stool, offering prayers of protection.
We are especially excited to share this experience with our brothers and sisters from the diaspora in this Year of Return.” She added, “We therefore echo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s sentiments for the unification of Africans on the continent with the diaspora.
The Year of Return is the perfect time for all to experience Odwira Festival in all its unique cultural splendor; to come home for an unlimited cultural experience with the people of Okuapeman.”
Starting on 16th September 2019 with activities ongoing until 22nd September 2019, Odwira Festival 2019 promises a unique cultural experience as well as an opportunity to learn about and connect with the rich history of Okuapeman.
The celebrations are set to combine the colourful cultural drumbeat at the heart of the Festival with fun, modern attractions towards creating a truly unforgettable experience. Starting with the Path-Clearing Ceremony, the celebrations will include activities such as the outdooring of New Yam, remembering the departed, introduction of new Chiefs, the Grand Durbar amongst others.
In addition, this year’s Odwira will have something for everyone by combining sports, entertainment and the experience of local arts and culture, as well as hiking, expeditions, mountain climbing and marathons. There will also be the opportunity to visit attractions like the Aburi gardens, Boti falls, Bosomase falls, the Abontsi slave market, Okomfo Anokye’s home, the Larteh shrine, the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa farm, as well as a tour of the Chief’s Palace, amongst other activities.
The general public and vendors are invited to visit www.odwirafestival.com for more information and to join the people of Okuapeman for an unlimited experience at Odwira Festival 2019.