The Ahsanti of Ghana celebrate unity and heritage during the Akwasidae Festival. The Ashanti culture centers on ancestral worship, and so once a month, every 6 weeks, it is customary to come in contact with the ancestors to give them thanks for their protection. This contact is celebrated as the Akwasidae Festival. The festival is celebrated on a Sunday, once every six weeks and is held in high importance, secondary only to the National Day celebrations.
The Ashanti are an ethnic group of natives in the Ashanti Region located within modern-day Ghana The Ashanti are descendants from Abyssinians, who inhabited the Horn of Africa then were pushed south by the Egyptian forces. Wealthy in gold, the Asante people developed a nation, along the Lake Volta and Gulf of Guinea. The empire was founded in 1670 when statehood was achieved after the war of independence, the Battle of Feyiase. Strong in heritage, the Ashanti have many celebrations. The Akwasidae Festival symbolizes the spirit of the people.
Akwasidae, according to the Ashanti cultural archive records, is an ornate and colorful ceremony, commemorating the date that the Ashanti Golden Stool was magically brought down from heaven in 1700. The golden stool is the symbol of the Ashanti unity, and it is believed that the golden stool contains the spirit of all Ashanti both dead and living.
While the entire celebration, called Adea, meaning rest place, wraps up on Sunday, which is open to the public and termed Akwasidae. The Akwasidae is a celebration which parades colorful canopies and umbrellas amongst drummers, dancers, horn blowers and singers who perform in honor of their ancestral spirits. It is this time that the King of the Ashanti is carried through the procession of Ashanti people who have come to pay homage to him. Akwasidae is a continuous demonstration of faith in the vision and heritage of the Asante Kingdom.
Editor’s note: Original World has recently added a West African tour which spans many countries and visits two festivals. The Akwasidae Festival is an event full of enlightened culture, enduring heritage, vibrant colors, and lively sounds. Join the tour and learn about this important part of the world. View details: http://originalworld.com/West_African_Kingdoms_Tour/