The Akwambo festival is a revered cultural celebration that takes place in the Central Region of Ghana. The festival, which means “path-clearing,” is observed annually by the people of Agona to mark the end of the farming season and the beginning of a new year.
During the festival, the Asafo companies, which are groups of warriors in the community, engage in the weeding of footpaths leading to the streams or rivers, farms, and other communal places. This is a symbolic act of clearing the way for a fresh start and new beginnings.
The festivities continue the next day with the whole community assembling at the ancestral shrines. The chief then pours libation to the ancestral spirits to express gratitude for their protection during the previous year and to request for blessings, abundant rainfall, and a bountiful harvest for the upcoming year.
One of the highlights of the festival is the offering of sacrifices at the stream or riverside. The mashed yams sprinkled on the water attract alligators and other species of fish, which are believed to be the ancestral spirits in animal form. The people watch in awe as these creatures come out to partake in the offering, which is seen as a sign of the spirits’ approval and blessing.
The Akwambo festival is an important part of the Agona people’s cultural heritage, and it brings the community together in a display of unity, gratitude, and hope for the future.