Bugum Festival

Saturday the 24th day of November 2012 marks the fire (Bugum) festival in the northern regions of Ghana. Last year same day, I posted the history of this Bugum festival on the PAMBE Ghana web and hopes you all had the chance to read it. This year I wish to continue on the significance of this festival to the Traditionalists and the Muslims who happens to be the celebrants of this festival in local communities. To the Traditionalists, this is the period during which some of the Traditionalists make offerings to their ancestors and God, since the festival marks the beginning of a new year. Animals such as chicken, goats, cats and dogs are used in these offerings depend on the ancestral lineage. Some regard this day as the powerful day in which every ancestor is awake and every “juju” ought to be sacrificed to and to seek for protection, health, long life, more wives and children and abundant harvest. On this day, men dress warlike and chants war songs to evoke the spirits of the dead. Besides, the Traditionalist are of the view that, one great king lost his son and when night falls 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. The Islamists hold the view that following the great flood during the time of Prophet Noah, the Ark landed in the night on this day 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. Muslims regards this day of the fire festival (10th day of the Bugum Gori) so much due to a number of landmarks on past Prophets and Messengers of Allah (GOD) that are reported to have fallen on this day. It is believed that: • Allah had chosen Adam (AS) to be the father to human beings on that day. • He saved Prophet Nuh (Noah) with people in his ship (ark) on that day. • He saved Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) from the blazing furnace on that day. • He forgave Dawud (David) on that day. • He returned Sulayman’s (Solomon) kingdom to him on that day. • He gave relieve, healing and strength to Prophet Ayyub (Job) of his afflictions on that day. • He raised Prophet Issa (Jesus) to the heavens on that day. • And on that day Prophet Mohammad received his first revelation as Allah’s chosen one • Also on that day Allah made Prophet Mohammad to migrate from Mecca to Madina which is known in Islamic history as the Hijra. • It is believed that the creation of the heavens and earth was on that day. And many more.

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