The Fetu Afahye is a festival celebrated by the chiefs and peoples of Cape Coast in the Central region of Ghana. The festival is celebrated on the first Saturday in the month of September every year. The Fetu Afahye is celebrated annually by the Oguaa people of Cape Coast because in the past there was an outbreak of disease among the people that killed many. The people prayed to the gods to help them to get rid of the disease. Thus the festival is celebrated to keep the town clean and to prevent another epidemic befalling the people.
Once upon a time there had been a plague in Cape Coast as history has it. This was devastating and as such demanded that the people of Cape Coast call for an intervention from their gods. However, it is believed that the inhabitants of Cape Coast and its environs were able to eliminate this plague with the help of their gods, hence, the name “Fetu” originally known as “Efin Tu” (“doing away with dirt”). It is also observed to commemorate a bumper harvest from the sea as well as performing rituals to thank the 77 gods of Oguaa Traditional Area.
The Fetu Afahye was once banned by the then colonial administration of Ghana specifically Cape Coast and termed as “Black Christmas” to depict it as a bad traditional phenomenon. The Omanhen at that time, who is named as the Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V, Okyeame Ekow Atta debunked this conception as misleading. Between 1948 and 1996, the festival finally resumed, after the religious struggle from various important personalities in the Oguaa Traditional Area. The festival is now used as a calendar for the farming seasons of the Oguaa Traditional Area and this particular phenomenon is also referred to as “Afehyia”, meaning “a loop of seasons”.