Awukudae Festival

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Awukudae Festival
Flag of Ashanti.svg
Flag of Ashanti with the Golden stool symbol at the center
Observed by Ashantis of Ashanti
Type Ashanti festival
Significance Festival of ancestral rites
Celebrations Wednesday ceremony
Date Nine 40 days
Frequency 9 times per year

Awukudae Festival (meaning: "Wednesday ceremony",[1] is a traditional Ashanti festival in Ashanti. Like the Akwasidae Festival, celebrated on a Sunday, Awukudae is part of the celebrations within the Adae Festival cycle. The festivals of Adae are not interchangeable, having been fixed from ancient times.[2]


The festival is observed on Wednesday, and its recurrence could be after 40 or 42 days. It is celebrated particularly in the Eastern Region. It is one of the two forms of Adae, the other being Akwasidae, which is celebrated the third Sunday after Awukudae.[3] The observance is an ancestral rite by the chiefs and elders of the Akan clan around Kumasi. The Tuesday which falls 8 days before Awukudae is known as Kwabena; and the Saturday following Awukudae is known as "Memeneda Dapaa". The festival announcement is made by drummers the evening before on "Dapaa" day. After every eight Awukudae Festivals, the "Adae Butu" ritual marks the start of the Odwira festival.[4]


Awukudae Festival is marked by Wo tu adae (announcing the day's celebration) drumming on the day preceding it and on Wednesday morning. Atumpan drums and single-air drums perform, but not Fontomfrom drums. In the forenoon, ceremonies are carried on in the Stool-House.[5] The drumming symbolizes the seeking of protection for the guardian ancestral deities to the soul of the ruling king and it unifies the people under his reign.[1] It is believed that Nsamanfoɔ and other ancestors are wandering around to see if this festival is being observed properly. On this occasion, it is also a practice to give donations for charitable causes such as feeding the hungry and helping the sick. On this day, Akamfoɔ people consider travel as dangerous and hence remain at home, as it is an emotional day for them.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tours to Ghana to attend traditional festivals". Trans Africa. Retrieved 25 November 2012.  or "sacred Wednesday")
  2. ^ Braffi 2002, p. 10.
  3. ^ Roy 2005, p. 26.
  4. ^ Ayisi 1992, p. 83.
  5. ^ Akan Laws and Customs. Taylor & Francis. pp. 140–. GGKEY:XEJNSQHBP2S. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Akua 2005, p. 92.