Bugum Chugu (Fire Festival)

BUNGUM FESTIVAL, Northern Region

The Bugum Chugu (Fire Festival) is the first Dagomba festival in the year. It is celebrated in the first month of the Dagomba lunar year, the Bugum Goli (the month of fire), and is celebrated on the ninth day of the month.
Celebrated in January every year by Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumb.
This festival is held by many ethnic groups in the Northern Ghana. Most Muslims and Non-Muslims take part in the celebration. The fire festival (Bugum) is observed by the Muslims to mark the landing of prophet Noah’s Ark after the flood. It is celebrated in the night with bundles of grass used as torches. This is the period during which some non-Muslims make offerings to their ancestors and God, since the festival marks the beginning of a new year. The Islamists hold the view that following the great flood during the time of prophet Noah, the Ark landed in the night and torches were lit to enable prophet Noah and his people to see whether they were on land. This festival is therefore held to mark this important night when the Ark landed after the great flood.

Besides, the Traditionalist are of the view that, one great king lost his son and when nightfalls a search party had to light torches (flash lights) in order to search for the prince in the night. Therefore this occasion is remembered annually, thus, the fire festival is held to mark this all important night.

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