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Abissa Festival

Celebrated for more than three centuries, this traditional event of festivities takes place each year with the greatest respect for ancestral values and marks the beginning of the new year for the N'Zima, people of the large Akan group of the Ivory Coast; it is an opportunity for them to repent, forgive and pray to the gods for a sweet and prosperous new year.


This great traditional festival, entirely orchestrated by the N'Zima people, has the original objective of representing the concepts of democracy and social justice.

However, beyond its sacred character, the Abissa has now become a popular event and it is an opportunity for Ivorians, as well as for tourists who have come for the occasion, to meet and celebrate the union of peoples.


With the rhythm of drums and good humor, we are witnessing a real festival spread over several days: sacred dances accompanied by drums, collective songs, parades of groups in eccentric outfits, and parodies of scenes from public life are there to animate the streets of Grand-Bassam in honor of the festival.


To have the chance to attend this great traditional festival of celebrations which lasts one to two weeks each year, head to Grand-Bassam – the former capital of the Ivory Coast and listed as a UNESCO heritage site since 2012 – between the end of October and the beginning of November (dates subject to reservation).

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