People seeking nighttime diversions Thursday night thronged the streets of Anloga to catch the thrills accustomed with the annual Hogbetsotso festival.
There was a sea of revelers on the main Anloga street with some millennial paired up to party the night away from 1800 hours.
Businesses, pubs and makeshift food joints alike, cashed in on the annual festival temporarily suspended for two years as a result of the destructive COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival week is characterised by fun-filled celebration with a riot of colour in anticipation of the weekend revelry.
“Keta is pupping”, Hilary, a lady in her late 20s dressed fancifully with a hint of cleavage display, said as she made her way from Anloga to Keta, a predominantly fishing community some 17.8 kilometres away.
“It is a sight to behold; you should be there,” she adds, and with a growing smile, she says “Shatta Wale will be in town for a concert later on Saturday after the grand durbar.”
For Moses Avedzi, a Tema resident and Anloga native, there is no better time to be home to celebrate the cultural heritage of the Anlo State with family and friends at this year’s Hogbetsotsoza.
He says apart from the excitement the eve of the festival offers, he is overjoyed to be in a community he had only visited during the 2020 election.
Hogbetsotso Festival is celebrated by the people of Anlo in the Volta Region of Ghana.
The celebration starts in the month of November at Anloga, which is the traditional and ritual capital of the Anlo State.
The festival unfolds Ewe history and brings to play the memories of legendary exodus and heroic acts of men of boldness and their mystical powers that liberated the Ewe-Dogbo people from the rule of tyrant King of Kings-Torgbui Agokorli of Nortsie in Togo.
Hence, Hogbetsotso is derived from the word ‘Hogbe’ or ‘Hohogbe’-the day of exodus, the moment in time when the Ewes in the Dogbo quarter of the walled city of Nortsie in Togo, escaped from the tyrannical ruler Agorkorli by walking backwards.
In order to commemorate the exodus and the bravery of their traditional rulers who led them on the journey, the people commemorate the annual festival of the Exodus – “Hogbetsotsoza”.
Thirty-six states from the Anlo Traditional Area are participating in this year’s celebration.
High-profile personalities, including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, Asantehene; Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, Ga Mantse, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, Kwahu Omanhene are expected to grace the grand durbar.
Other chiefs and personalities, musicians from the Volta Region, and diasporans are also expected to be in attendance at the historic ceremony.