Adae Kese is a holiday held by the inhabitants of the Asante kingdom to honor and remember their glory and accomplishments.
The Adae Kese Festival is a unique event in the Asante kingdom, during which the Asante people rest. It’s commonly known as ‘Resting Day,’ and it happens every 42 days.
The event is also seen as a time for serious introspection, with individuals, particularly traditional leaders, seeking insight and strengthening their faith by establishing a connection with the town’s ancestors and gods.
After the Asantes beat the Denkyira in the battle of Feyiase to gain independence and sovereignty in the late 1600s, the idea for the celebration was born. However, it wasn’t until the appearance of the Golden Stool in 1700 that this vision became a reality.
The celebration was said to involve the sacrifice of humans to the gods and ancestor spirits of the dead chiefs back in the day. While records of that practice are sparse and difficult to come by, today’s Adae Kese celebrations do not include any type of human sacrifice. Instead, animals such as lambs are slain and presented as a sacrifice to the ancestral spirits of past chiefs by the head priests of the various cities.
Every five years, the Asantehene, the ruler of the entire Asante state, hosts the Adae Kese at Kumasi (the Asantehene’s traditional residence). During this time, all of the Asante chiefs from the numerous cities and villages congregate in Kumasi to celebrate the Adae Kese in harmony under the Asantehene’s guidance.
All of the sub-chiefs are invited to a special durbar. The Asantehene gives a unique message to Asantes during this durbar, preaching about unity and the need of remaining as one people. Dancing, drumming, and the honoring of some important persons who have played significant roles in the history of the Asante kingdom are all part of the festivities. Sub-chiefs vow their loyalty to the Asantehene during this time.
It should also be noted that the festival has no set date because it is celebrated on the 9th Adae Kese holiday according to the Akan calendar. As a result, the festival is normally held between July and October.
How is Adae Kese celebrated?
The Adae Kese Festival follows the same ceremonies as the Adae Festival, with the exception that the chief is required to bring a sheep to the Stool for sacrifice. During Adae Kese, the Odwira purifying ceremony is held at ancestral spirit burial shrines. Because this generally corresponds with the yam harvest season, Europeans dubbed the event the Yam Tradition. It is commemorated at this time of year to thank the gods and ancestors for a plentiful crop. The fresh yam is also exposed to the elements during the season.
The Adae Kese Festival, which lasts two weeks and is hosted by the Asanteman, is held every five years in Kumasi, Ghana’s capital city. It is a ceremonial state celebration that incorporates multiple villages and towns within a traditional territory known as Odwira, connecting Ashanti from all walks of life who attend and embrace the festival (Odwira means to purify). On this day, Asantehene, the titular monarch of Kumasi, hosts a colorful durbar of chiefs and their queens, who all dress up in full regalia.
Why is the Adae Kese Festival celebrated?
According to the Akan calendar, the ninth Adae Festival, known as the Adae Kese Festival (“great Adae”), falls on the same day as the New Year’s celebration. As a result, it is observed to thank the gods and ancestors for the fresh harvest. Adae’s holidays are not interchangeable, as they have been set in stone since ancient times.
Who celebrates the Adae Kese Festival?
The Ashanti people and chiefs in Ashanti, as well as the Ashanti diaspora, celebrate the Adae Kese Festival, which brings together Ashanti from all walks of life. The ninth Adae Festival is the Akan calendar’s annual culminating festival (which occurs every six weeks).
What is the meaning of Adae?
An Akan term meaning “resting place,” Adae is the most important festival of the Akan. Connected to the meaning of the term, it is a day of rest for the living and the ancestors, and, as such, work, including funerals, is forbidden.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
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Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety.
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