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Ethiopia

Fun and festivities in Ethiopia - celebrations, festivals and cultural events

Christianity has an important role in Ethiopia. However, the local church is an orthodox one, so Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church has some differences with the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Christian Church that is adopted in some European countries. That being said, the main holidays are the same. For example, January 7 is the day when local people celebrate Gena (Christmas). The holiday coincides with the end of the 40-day-long fasting. On the night before Christmas, churches in Ethiopia have a special mass that lasts until the morning. Once the divine service is over, people return home and celebrate Christmas with their loved ones. Pilgrims go to Lalibela to celebrate Gena.
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Timkat is a term that Ethiopians use to name another important Christian holiday, Epiphany. Celebrated on January 19, this holiday is dedicated to the baptistery of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. On this day, Ethiopian Christians pray, this way purifying their souls from the sin. Timkat celebrations last two days. There are several interesting rituals associated with this holiday. On the first day, worshippers take out a Tabot, a replica of the Tablets of Law, and put it into water. Tabot remains in the water until the morning. After that, people go to the river and pour water into bottles and canisters. This water is considered holy. Tabot returns to the church with an accompaniment of songs and religious dancing. Timkat is widely celebrated in Addis Ababa, Gondar, and Lalibela.
Fasika is the term for Easter. This holiday doesn’t have a fixed date, so the date changes every year. Ethiopian Christians have a fasting period before Easter that lasts roughly two months. It is prohibited to consume meat and dairy products during this period. Some Ethiopians follow exceptionally strict fasting that permits them to eat onion and some other vegetables one time a day. On Fasika, people go to church, listen to religious songs, put on their best outfits, and light candles. This is a family holiday. Ethiopians have several festive dishes that they traditionally cook for Fasika. Baked chicken is a typical dish for this holiday. By the way, tourists, who visit Aksum a week before Easter, can witness a very interesting ceremony called Palm Tree Sunday. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Enkutatash is Ethiopian New Year. The Julian calendar is adopted in the country, and it is different from the Gregorian calendar that is a standard for many countries. Because of this, local people do not celebrate New Year together with the majority of countries in the world. For example, Ethiopians celebrated Enkutatash on September 12 in 2015. This holiday ends the rainy season, so this is the time when local nature looks particularly attractive and colorful. Bright yellow Meskel flowers have become the most popular symbol of Enkutatash. People gift them to each other, wishing a good harvest. People turn on numerous lights in their houses. Girls put on new dresses, dance, and sing holiday songs. The Raguel Church on Mount Entoto is traditionally the epicenter of all Enkutatash celebrations.
Meskel is a holiday that is widely celebrated in Addis Ababa on the square with the same name, as well as in Gondar, Aksum, and Lalibela. This celebration commemorates the discovery of the True Cross. Meskel falls to the end of September. On the night before the holiday, people make fires on the central squares of their towns. They decorate a wooden cross with yellow flowers and install it above the fire. Participants and witnesses sing and dance around the cross. Some believe that the direction of the smoke is a prediction for the next year. When the fire dies, people take cinder and draw crosses on their foreheads as a sign of their pure faith.
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Ethiopia is famous as not only a very religious country. For example, it is also home to many famous sportsmen. Addis Ababa hosts an athletic festival dedicated to running – the Ethiopian Great Run. The holiday is, actually, a marathon, but not only runners participate in it. There are many small scenes along the route, and live bands perform restlessly, making this event even more exciting. By the way, not only professional athletes are allowed to participate – absolutely everyone, locals and tourists, are free to join the run.
Cathedral in a cloudy afternoon In the middle of December, the capital hosts the Addis Photo Festival dedicated to the art of photography. As a rule, several exhibitions open for this festival, and everyone is welcome to attend interesting lectures, conferences, and meetings. This is a large festival that attracts not only popular Ethiopian photographers but also famous international personalities. The choice of genres is very wide as the event is not limited to modern photography only. It is very interesting to attend exhibitions with old and restored photographs. All fans of local cuisine simply cannot miss the Taste of Addis Festival. The schedule of this event traditionally includes sampling sessions, contests, and master classes.
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UNWTO Reveals How the Pandemic Affected International Travel

It is not a secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit global tourism badly, and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) once again proved this. According to the recently published data, international tourist arrivals between January and May 2021 were 85% below the results of 2019 and 65% below the results of 2020. It is safe to say that this is the biggest crisis that world tourism has ever seen in its history, and the industry has to stay in such a state for the second year. Read this

29.07.2021

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Attractions and entertainment in top cities of Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

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