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The four Akan Sacred Days you probably did not know

Within the Adaduanan (42-day cycle of the Akan Calendar) are found four special days, collectively called dabɔne (sacred days); Fɔdwo, Awukudae, Fofie and Akwasidae.


The 42-day cycle may be thought to begin on Fɔdwo and the other three dabɔne follow in nine-day intervals; Awukudae on the tenth day, Fofie on the nineteenth day, and Akwasidae on the twenty-eighth day. It takes a further 14 days to complete the Adaduanan.

When "Kurow" (from kurow, town) of the six-day week coincides with a Wednesday of the seven-day week (on Kurow-Wukuo), or with a Sunday of the seven-day week (on Kurow-Kwasi), the two dabɔne most closely related to stool rites, "Awukudae and Akwasidae" (Wuko-Adae and Kwasi-Adae) are celebrated.

These two 'bad' days, related to death, are called "adae" (perhaps deriving from da, sleep, dae, slept or died or dream and eye, implying that the ancestors should lie comfortably in their death), and are closely associated with politico-ritual symbols of gerontocracy sanctified or sanctioned by ancestor veneration.


No funerals may be held and no news of death may reach the ears of a chief (the living shrine of his ancestors) while libations of alcohol and offerings of food are made to the blackened stools (the permanent physical shrines of those ancestors) on an adae.

When "Fo" of the six-day week coincides with a Monday or Friday, the two dabɔne most closely related to tutelary spirits, Fɔdwo and Fofi, are celebrated. They are closely associated with medico-religious symbols or purification and the intervention of anthropomorphic spirits inhabiting natural objects such as rivers and caves.

It is beleived that The Asante send messengers to Brong (Techiman) when in doubt about when to hold any festival, for the Brong were 'keepers of the King's calendar.'

These four 'holidays' are not complete vacations from all labour. No farming may be carried out on any dabɔne but work per se is not banned. Hunting and gathering are usually permitted and the people may go to their farms to carry home firewood or food reaped the previous day, so long as no weeding of farms is done. Often communal labour is performed on those dabɔne which are not filled with ritual and ceremonial activities.

The Akan still observe these sacred days with strict compliance and all necessary rituals involved are duly performed by the custodians. If you did not know these sacred days, you have been educated.

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Akan Akwasidae Awukudae Fofie Kurow-Kwasi

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