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Festivals and Events2018-09-09T20:26:24+00:00

1. Enkutatesh (New Year Celebration); it is the celebration of Ethiopian New Year which falls every year Meskerem 1st (September 1st Ethiopian Calendar) or September 11th or 12th (Gregorian Calendar) depending on the leap year.

2. Meskel (the finding of the true cross) Masqal is said to be in memory of the finding of the true cross by Empress Eleni of Ethiopia.

3. Hidar Tsion (St. Mary celebration in Axum); it is colorfully celebrated every year November 30. The celebration takes place for the coming of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. It was also on this day the first historical St. Mary church was built with 12 sanctuaries.

4. Genna (Christmas) officially known by the Church as Baal Lidet (Ethiopian Christmas) is on the 7th of January.

5. Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany), which falls on the 19th of January is the day when Christians celebrate the baptism of Christ.

This is the greatest festival of the year, falling on 19 January, just two weeks after the Ethiopian Christmas. It is actually a three-day affair, beginning on the Eve of Timkat with dramatic and colorful processions. The following morning the great day itself, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist is commemorated. The third day is devoted to the Feast of St. Michael, the archangel, one of Ethiopia’s most popular saints.

6. Hosanna (Palm Sunday); it is celebrated before a week of Easter. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ with the disciples into Jerusalem. People welcomed Jesus by spreading palm branches. The best place to observe this ceremony is at Entoto St. Mary in Addis Ababa and St. Mary Zion Church in Axum.

7. Fasika (Easter), it is the celebration of Jesus Christ resurrection. This festival is observed after 55 days of fasting.

1. Id Al Fatar (Id-ul-Fitr) means the ‘festival of breaking the fast’. The fast of Ramadan is broken with special prayers and festivities. ‘Fitr’ is derived from the word ‘fatar’ meaning ‘breaking’. Another connotation suggests that it is derived from fitrah or ‘alms’. Certain Sunni Muslims believe that fitr comes from fitrat meaning ‘nature’ and Id-ul-Fitr is the celebration of god’s magnanimity in providing nature to man. Celebrated on the first day of the new moon in Shawwal, it marks the end of Ramadan.

2. Eid al Adhha this religious event begins about 70 days after the end of Ramadan and is dedicated to Abraham’s sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son. This event lasts for four days.

3. Birth of Prophet Mohammad/Maulid; The birthday of the founder of Islam is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in all Muslims country through out the world. However the date for the holiday changes every year because Islamic holidays are based on the Hijri calendar.

1. December 8 the Shining Diversity of peoples of Ethiopia

2. March 2 Victory of Adwa
The Battle of Adwa was fought on 1 March 1896 between Ethiopia and Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo–Ethiopian War. Of all the African powers, only the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia remained completely free from European domination by the end of the 19th century. This was no accident of history; Ethiopia secured its sovereignty by inflicting a decisive and humiliating defeat upon the Italian invaders at Adowa (or Adwa) on March 1, 1896. The battle at Adowa was, at the time, the greatest defeat inflicted upon a European army by an African army since the time of Hannibal, and its consequences were felt well into the 20th century. As an example of colonial warfare on an epic scale, it cannot be surpassed. As an example of the twin follies of arrogance and underestimation of one’s enemies, it should never be forgotten.

3. May 5 Patriots Day
Ethiopia, which Italy had unsuccessfully tried to conquer in the 1890s, was in 1934 one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland that December 1933 gave Benito Mussolini an excuse to intervene. Rejecting all arbitration offers, the Italians invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935.

The occupation of Ethiopia by Italy triggered a resistance by Ethiopian patriots led by such gallant personalities as Ras Abebe Aregay, Belay Zeleke, Abdis Aaga etc. and lasted for five years until the Italian forces were finally defeated in May 5 1941.

4. May 28 the Down fall of the Derge
The down fall of the Military Regime of Derge.

1. Irecha (Thanks giving to God) One of the prominent Oromo Society core cultures which is widely celebrated every year in September on Sunday following the finding of the true cross festival.

2. Chambalaalla-Fichee; the Sidama peoples New Year Celebration at Gudmale, Awassa. Chambalaalla is a day where series of cultural festivities take place. Fichchee is the eve of Cambalaalla. Sidaama exercises lunar system of calendar. There is no fixed date for it but an ascetic group of elders, after dealing with the movements of moon, star and other sky bodies, declare the eve of Chambalaalla-Fichee.