Apiredi marks New Year with 'Love Feast'

Source: Ghana I Nhyira FM I Ohemeng Tawiah
Date: 3rd-january-2018 Time:  8:53:36 am

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Entrance to the new year is marked by many Ghanaians including Christians with church service as a symbolic entry into yet another from another year.

But for residents of Apiredi in the Akuapem North Municipality of the Eastern region, the occasion means more than that.

Residents, together with the traditional leaders gather for a special get-together called 'Love Feast' to share food, drinks and dance their hearts-out deep in the night.

The celebrations coincide with the annual Odwira Festival of the people of Apiredi.

Apiredi served as a safe haven where the Akuapems sought refuge against attacks from their war opponents in the olden days.

Located on the highest elevation of the Akuapem mountains, the town is endowed with its unique weather condition and mountainous scenery.

The town is believed to have been founded long before any of Okere or Akuapem towns in history.

Traditional authorities introduced 'Love Feast' three years ago to unite families in the community.

Residents send food, including meat and drinks to the Community Center in the night which is shared and eaten by all amid singing and dancing.

Apiredihene, Nana Saforo Okoampa III

Apiredihene, Nana Saforo Okoampa III and his elders joined other hundreds of residents at the program with his elders to dine and to make merry.

"The Love Feast is meant to bring families and brings together. After going through a hectic work, you work for  12-months and it is time for the Odwira and after all the rituals have been performed, it is  now time  for us to come together as friends, as family members of this community to relax, come together and enjoy whatever  we have together,"  Apiredihene, Nana Saforo Okoampa III  revealed.

Residents bring food and drinks from their homes and share with others on the streets of Apiredi.

It is an occasion of merrymaking and unity as natives who live outside the community including those in abroad travel home to unite with their families.

Kwaku Okoampah who is native of Apiredi Kwaku had travelled all the way from Kumasi to take part in the  Love Feast.

For him, it is all about unifying with family members and old friends.

"I'm in Kumasi but this is the first time I am attending this program. Having this program together you meet a lot of people you've met a long time ago.  For instance some of my mats or my brothers that I met 20-years ago are all here," he said.

Another first timer is Aretha  who was attending the program  from Accra says she will recommend it to friends to enjoy the fun too.

"This is my first time but I am very happy to be here and then next time that I am coming, I'm going to bring my friends to come and join us here," she said.

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