Akwasidae is an Akan festival celebrated in most Akan States in Ghana. It took its rise at the time that independent Akans States in Ghana, fought alongside the Ashantis and defeated the Denkyira State at the battle of Feyiase in Ad 1701.
Akwasidae is celebrated on every 6th Sunday by most Akan States, to thank the ancestors and gods for their protection and good farm harvest and ask for protection and fertility of their subjects, the period following Akwasidae.
On the day preceding Akwasidae, Dapaa, as it is called, drumming and dancing by Palace attendants and Fetish Priests takes place, praying to ancestors to usher them into a successfuland peaceful Akwasidae.
At dawn on Akwasidae The king and sub king enters the Stool House or Nkonuafieso, where ancestoral spirits rest in the ancestors’ blackened stools. They enter the Stool Room with their cloths lowered to lay bare their shoulder and chest, as well as their feet, as a sign of respect and reverence to the ancestral spirits.
Whilst in the Stool Room, the Spirits are invoked and venerated. They offer special cooked food and drinks to the ancestors and on behalf of the inhabitants of the town or state. The drinks are served to the ancestral spirits in the form of Libation. The blood of a ram and specific internal organ parts, slaughtered at the Stool House that morning, forms part of the ancestors’ food.
After a few hours’ rest following the Stool Room activities, the Kings and sub Kings, with their Queens sit in-state to receive their family members and subjects, who visit the Palace, to pay homage. Infact, Akwasidae is a compulsory resting day for all. No farming activity goes on. Mourning is also banned on Akwasidae, not even the mentioning of the passing of a person. Mourning clothes are not worn but bright coloured only, particularly that of white background.
Between two Akwasidae is Awukudae which falls 3 Wednesdays after Akwasidae(24 days) after. Akwasidaeis celebrated in a more grand way than Awukudae. Disputes with the local community are settled on these two aforementioned days or on the following day.
On the eve of Akwasedae, rituals are performed by Akyeame to signify the end of Akwasidae
>>>The writer is Manwerehene to Kwahuhene. an Asona Odawuro Royal of kwahu Tafo and Ejisu-Ashanti. A past student of Prempeh College, graduated from West Los Angeles College, Culver City and University of Southern California, Los Angeles- Marshalls.
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