Togo: holidays, events, climate
|January 1||New Year|
|13th January||Liberation Day|
|February||Tabaski (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|April 27||Independence day|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May||Ascension of Christ|
|June 21||Day of the Martyrs|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|September 24||Anniversary of the unsuccessful attack on Lomé|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|November||Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
Source: Countryaah - Togo Holidays
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the feast day Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day.
The festivals Eid al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitr last 2-10 days, depending on the region.
There are also various traditional festivals in Togo every year:
rites In the middle of July, initiation rites for men with traditional wrestling matches (Evala) and initiation rites for girls (Akpema) are celebrated in the Kabyé region.
Harvest festival, bean harvest festival
In August, the Guin (Kpessosso) harvest festival and the Ewé (Ayizan) bean harvest festival take place.
The Ewé diaspora festival (Agbogbozan) is always on the first Thursday in September.
In the first week of September, the Yam Festival (D'pontre) is celebrated in the Bassar region.
The Kamou Harvest Festival in the Kabyé region takes place in December.
In Togo there are not the four seasons known to us, but an alternation of rainy and dry periods.
In the south of the country, on the coast, the rainy season lasts from May to June and from the end of September to November. Average daytime temperatures stay around 30 °C all year round. At night they also stay constant at around 22 °C. In the course of a year, precipitation falls in the south around 2030 mm.
In the north, the rainy season lasts from late March to November, with a steady increase and peak in September. However, only about 1015 mm of precipitation falls here each year. Average daytime temperatures vary from 29-37 °C within a year, with the coldest during the rainy season. At night they fluctuate between 20 - 24 °C.
During the rainy periods, the humidity can rise up to 90%.
In the south of the country, dry periods occur from July to August and from December to April.
In the north, the dry season lasts from December to March. During this time the Harmattan, a dusty desert wind blows from the northeast and brings large temperature differences between day and night, especially in the north. The high humidity decreases through the harmattan.
Togo: national customs
Voodoo, an original West African religion in which dances are central, is particularly widespread in Togo. The voodoo cult has always remained a bit mysterious and scary to people in the West. What seems so scary to the observer from the West are the ritual animal sacrifices and the consumption of intoxicating substances such as alcohol and tobacco. One still thinks of dolls pierced with needles, cock-swinging dancers and willless, soulless undead. But if you want to get back to reality, you should approach the voodoo religion with a little more benevolence and interest. The voodoo cult has nothing to do with black magic, but rather with a form of dance and song ritual that is based on traditions. At the center of the Voodoo religion is Baka:
In Togo, child trafficking is a very big problem. The children from Togo (and especially Lomé) are often sold as slave labor to Benin, Gabon, Liberia, Cameroon and Nigeria. It is estimated that around 300,000 Togolese children between the ages of 5 and 15 are currently being exploited as slaves. But also in Togo itself, around 33% of those between the ages of 5 and 14 have to work.
If the human rights situation in Togo has also improved since 2006, homosexuality is still a criminal offense and is punished. Actions between people of the same sex can be punished with a fine but also with a prison sentence of up to three years.
Sport in Togo
If the traditional national sport in Togo is also wrestling, football also plays an important role, which is expressed, among other things, in the fact that the Togolese national team has already taken part in the African championships several times. In 2006 the team was even able to qualify for the soccer world championship. Unfortunately, the outsider failed there in the preliminary round. Togolese athletes also took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. During this 8th participation of representatives of the country in the Olympic Games, Benjamin Boukpeti won a bronze medal in canoe slalom and thus the first Olympic medal for his country.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Koutammakou - Land of the Batammariba
The landscape of Koutammakou lies in the northeast of the country and extends into the neighboring state of Benin.
Togo is a multi-ethnic state to which the different ethnic groups each brought their own culture.
The tower houses made of clay are considered to be symbols of Togo and are strictly linked to the religious customs of the population, the so-called Batammariba.
The roofs of the cylindrical houses have different shapes such as flat roofs or cones. The silos for storing agricultural products are also tower-like and have an upturned hemisphere as a roof.
The land of the Batammariba was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004.
Up to 92,000 people live in Atakpamé, the fifth largest city in Togo. Atakpamé, which was once the administrative center of the German colony of Togoland, spreads out on the western edge of the Atakora mountain range and, with the Notre-Dame de la Trinité cathedral, is the bishopric of the eponymous diocese. Otherwise Atakpamé is an important traffic junction, a center of textile processing and an important trading point for the cotton grown in the surrounding area.
Dapaong is the northernmost city in Togo. The capital of the Togolese region of Savanes, inhabited by almost 50,000 people, is in the immediate vicinity of neighboring Ghana. The Savanes region is characterized by a dry steppe climate.
Kara (also Lama-Kara)
Togo's third largest city acts as the capital of the region of the same name and is inhabited by around 100,500 people. The important administrative and economic center of northern Togo has housed the Université de Kara since 2004, has a very busy market square, numerous luxury hotels and the Niamtougou International Airport, thanks to which many tourists and business people come to the city. Every year the city hosts a traditional wrestling festival, which has become an important rite of initiation in the growing up of young Kabyès.
Lomé is the capital of Togo and at the same time the economic, cultural, political and commercial center of the country. Lomé, which also functions as the capital of the Maritime region, spreads out on the Gulf of Guinea and houses the seat of the President and the government, i.e. the Primature. The port of Lomés is the most important in the country because it is used to handle import and export business with neighboring countries. The city is full of higher educational institutions and has impressive buildings and institutions, including the National Museum, the National Library, the Maison du RPT (= House of the Unity Party), the Governor's Palace and the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral.
Sokodé is Togo's second largest city with a population of 86,500. It spreads between the two rivers Mono and Mo and is considered to be the most important trading point for the agrarian surrounding area. As the undisputed landmark of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious city, the Great Old Mosque rises from its sea of houses, which indicates that Sokodé is the city of Togo with the largest Muslim population.
2 Février Sofitel Hôtel in Lomé
The tallest structure by far in Togo rises 102 meters in the capital Lomé on Place De L'Indépendance Street. As it is the only tall structure in the city (and also in the country), it can be seen from almost anywhere in Lomé.
The building, completed in 1980, has 36 floors and houses a subsidiary of the Sofitel Hôtel chain.
Old shipyard in Lomé
The old shipyard in Togo's capital Lomé is a fine example of German colonial architecture.
Maison du RPT in Lomé
The Maison du RPT is the party house of the Unity Party of Togo, which was once founded by President Eyadéma.
The building is designed in European architecture, but has African reliefs that go back to the Togolese artist Paul Ahyi.
National Museum of Togo in Lomé
Exhibitions on Togolese culture and the tensions between the colonial rulers and the "Togolese" indigenous people can be seen in the National Museum of Togo, which is located in the state capital Lomé. It was founded in 1975 and provides comprehensive information on artistic developments in the country.
Cathédrale du Sacré-Coeur de Lomé
The neo-Gothic Herz-Jesu cathedral church in the Togolese capital Lomé is a wonderful example of German colonial architecture in Togo. It belongs to the Archdiocese of Lomé and is located in Lomé's historic center. The construction of the cathedral was initiated by the Roman Catholic Society of Steyler Missionaries. As the Société du Verbe Divin, they tried to set up a mission station in Lomé and after 1892 received permission to build a first chapel, which was soon to be followed by the current cathedral. This was built between 1901 and 1902. On September 14, 1955, the representative church building was finally designated as the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Lomé.
Notre-Dame de la Trinité cathedral in Atakpamé
The Notre-Dame de la Trinité (Our Lady of the Trinity) cathedral in Atakpamé is the bishopric of the Atakpamé diocese, which has existed since 1964. The current bishop, by the way, is Nicodème Anani Barrigah-Benissan.
Roman Catholic Church in Togoville
The Roman Catholic Church in Togoville was built under German colonial rule.
Peter and Paul Church and Protestant Church in Aného
Both buildings in the former capital, like the German cemetery, bear witness to the colonial era.
Grand Marché in Lomé
The large market in the Togolese capital Lomé is housed entirely in a three-story building and divided into areas for goods of all kinds, which are then loudly offered for sale by women.
The colossal market square near the cathedral is also enlivened by African music that is played live.
Village Artisanal craft market in Lomé
The Village Artisanal craft market in Lomé sells locally made handicrafts.
Marché aux Féticheurs in Lomé
The local fetish market should be worth a look at most, but in no case should encourage people to buy, because most of the products on offer fall under the species protection law. Lots of people there offer short tours of the market in French to foreign visitors for little money, which is fine. But you should never follow a feticheur into his room behind the stands. A “medicine” is being prepared and offered there, the rejection of which is not readily accepted.
Marox supermarket in Lomé
If you need a little German feeling of home, you should go to the city center of Lomé and stop at the Marox supermarket right next to the Marox grill, where many ALDI Süd house brands are sold.
Meat and even white sausages are also available. What more does the German want? Unfortunately the supermarket has been closed since 2016.
Université de Kara
Since 2004, the Togolese city of Kara has had the Université de Kara, the country's second university. Around 1,500 students are currently enrolled at it.
Université de Lomé
The former University of Benin is located on the Lomé Tokoin campus.
Fazao-Malfacassa National Park near Sokodé in the Malfacassa Mountains
The Fazao-Malfacassa National Park near Sokodé spreads out in the Malfacassa Mountains and is home to many monkeys and one of the last herds of elephants in Togo.
Fosse aux Lions
Some of the elephants that have become rare in Togo also live in this reserve.
Kéran National Park near Kara
The Kéran National Park near the city of Kara (also Lama Kara) is home to numerous baboons and antelopes.
Koutammakou - Land of the Batammariba
The landscape of Koutammakou lies in the northeast of the country and extends into the neighboring state of Benin. Togo is a multiethnic state to which the various ethnic groups each brought their culture.