Ghanaian Day Names and Outdooring Ceremony

Ghanaian Day Names and Outdooring Ceremony

Every Ghanaian knows which day of the week they were born on. Like the principles of the zodiac signs, you inherit a Day Name based on which of the seven days of the week that you were born.

What are the Ghanaian Day Names?

A Day Name is a set of male and female names associated with each day of the week. A newborn automatically assumes a name according to the day of the week it is born and the gender at birth. Some people believe that those born on the same day share common characteristics as in the nursery rhyme, Monday’s Child. The custom is prevalent across all Ghanaian tribes albeit the spelling and pronunciation differ slightly. 

The female and male Day Names are a play on the name of the day of the week for example Wukuada (Wednesday) female Akua, make Kwaku. 

The Akan female and male Day Names 




Ɛdwoada (Monday)



Ɛbenada (Tuesday)



Wukuada (Wednesday)



Yawoada (Thursday)



Efiada (Friday)



Memenda (Saturday)



Kwasiada (Sunday)



Why do Ghanaians have Day Names?

Generally, in most African societies traditions and customs are passed down the generation via oral history. In many cases, on a need-to-know basis. When you reach puberty, get married, have a baby, or there is a death. You learn about the details of the ritual when it directly involves you.

I am fortunate to have a family member, keen to share his knowledge of the Akan traditional customs.  Nana Nkruma’s understanding of the Day Names is that it was conceived to solve a practical problem. A Day Name is used to identify the newborn before the formal Outdooring naming ceremony which takes place 1 week or up to 40 days after birth. To allow the new parents time to prepare for the ceremony and the child time to develop before it is presented to the community.

During the Outdooring ceremony, the mother and baby wear white. The father accepts paternity and gives the child a name, mostly after his family member. The child receives its official name and retains the day name as well.  Usually, the Day Name comes first so if you are born on a Wednesday and your father gave you the name Joana you would be known unofficially as Akua Joana. Some Ghanaians adopt the Day Name as a middle name outside of Ghana for convenience.

Jo Boateng’s  Akua maa jewellery collection combines the features of the Ghanaian fertility doll Akuaba and the day names concept as its inspiration.

What day were you born on?

Find out via  Plus Maths 

Back to blog