Some people have been wondering what brought about Kwahu Easter. Some even ask what is so special about the celebration that gets Kwahu on a standstill during the period.
Anyway, to begin with Kwahu Easter is, first of all, not Kwahu’s traditional festival. Kwahu, just like many Akan tribes, celebrates Akwasidae – which is Kwahu’s transitional festival.
The Easter festivities in Kwahu can best be described as a homecoming for Kwahus. Actaully, that is how the popular reveling season begun on the mountains. It started as a homecoming for Kwahus in the diaspora, especially those in Accra.
Majority of Kwahus live in the Greater Accra Region as compared to mainland Kwahu. This move to the capital city as well as overseas were for trade and commerce. Kwahus are known to be predominantly traders and business men and women, who travel far and wide to trade.
In Accra, it is no coincidence that you would find majority of Kwahus in trading centres such as Abossey Okai, Kantamanto, Okaishie, CMB, among others. It was even Kwahus who started trading at most of these centres before others joined in.
Aside their commercial life, they also reside in principal areas of the capital city including Kokomlemle, Adabraka, Dansoman, Pokuase, Amasaman, among other areas. This has left mainland Kwahu to become more like a ‘deserted town’ where majority of its youth and working class are abroad making ends meat living a few of them and the aged behind back home.
However, they return home often to build properties, especially magnificent buildings, which they hope to return to when they retire and go back to their homeland.
Moreover, the Kwahus with most of them being traders and business men and women often couldn’t leave to their hometown during the Christmas festivities. Christmas, as it is today, was a season of cashing-in on sales, so they couldn’t leave to visit families on the mountains, because most of them were in Accra’s busy business districts trading.
Nonetheless, they begun finding the Easter holidays as a flexible period to visit their families in Kwahu. Unlike Christmas, the Easter period was less engulfed in the capital’s busy trading activities.
It was during these visits in the Easter holidays that propelled the Kwahu Easter phenomenon. They would often visit the mountains with friends from Accra and other parts of the country. It became somewhat customary that often colleagues in Accra would join the Kwahus to visit their families, so that they could catch glimpse and experience their bespoke natural, tourist sites as well as the chilly weather. A move that friends from other parts of the country, especially Accra, deemed it as a break out from the bustling and hustling of the city.
It was not surprising that later on it became an annual homecoming for them to return home within the Easter season for family and community meetings in Kwahu.This has been sustained to date among the Kwahus and other Ghanaians and even foreigners who troop in to the chilly mountains for their reveling moments during the Easter holidays.
Over the years, the holidays on the Kwahu mountains have become more interesting with the introduction of the Paragliding event. This feature was introduced in 2005 to complement the holidays. International pilots come from other parts of the globe to fly parachutes at the Odweanoma Paragliding site to mainland Nkawkaw. This in particular has given Kwahu Easter a global prominence.
To conclude, Kwahu Easter has come to stay. Nonetheless, regulations needs to be put in place by the government and the traditional authority in Kwahu to make the festivities worth its prominence and status as not just an event of merry making but one that drives economic growth and development in tourism.
Source: Jesse Kwadwo Owusu Ampah (Kwahu History Society; Kwahu Connect)
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