Edna Bronya Festival is a native version of Christmas celebrated on the first Thursday of the New Year by the people of Elmina (Edina).
Bronya is a word for Christmas in Twi so the festival in literal sense means Elimina Christmas in Cape Coast.
After the defeat of the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1627 and the eventual control of trading and colonial activities in Elmina, the Dutch introduced a novel form of “bronya” to the people of Elmina. This festival came to be known as “Edina bronya” which translates as “Elmina Christmas”.
This festival is a Christmas celebration which was introduced to the people of Elmina during the Dutch colonial period. The celebration coincide with the Dutch Festival , which falls on the 1st Thursday of January every year and marked in Elmina to signify the bond of friendship between the Dutch and people in Elmina.
Families get together and invite friends to celebrate with dining and merry-making throughout the town. This event takes place January in the Central Region.
On the eve of the festival the Paramount Chief climbs up to Fort St.Jago and fires shots at midnight to usher in the New Year. The next day, The Paramount Chief ride in a palanquin (a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers) to pay homage to the various clans.
The climax of the festival is when the paramount Chief and his elders converge in front of Elmina Castle and a sheep is slaughtered. The festival ends with merry-making , drumming and dancing throughout the night.