Even though Easter is a public holiday in Ethiopia but it is not celebrated on the same day as many other western countries.
Christians in Ethiopia follow the Orthodox calendar which is opposite to what Christians in other countries follow i.e. Julian Calendar.
In other words,
Easter in Ethiopia falls way after the March Equinox.
March Equinox is the time around which most western countries celebrate their Easter. It is thought to be an indication of spring time for the Christians, when they make preparations to welcome the occasion of Easter with beautiful colors.
Easter in Ethiopia is known as Fasika, a festival that is celebrated to acknowledge the rise of Jesus Christ after being crucified.
Easter celebrations in Ethiopia are not like Easter festivals in other western countries. People usually spend their Easter in religious practices.
People in Ethiopia don’t make Easter a secular celebration instead they are more inclined towards the religious side of the occasion.
That is why Lent is mostly followed by all the Christians in Ethiopia. Lent, is a forty-day period in which Christians avoid any animal product, in the name of love for Jesus Christ.
Lent is broken by long hours of praying in the church on the Easter’s eve.
You’d be surprised to know that the hours of praying run till about 3 a.m. and people in Ethiopia tend to spend all of these hours in church services.
2. Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday otherwise known as Hosaina in Ethiopia, is the Sunday which falls one week before Easter Sunday.
Palm Sunday is the start of the Holy Week which marks the story of Jesus Christ entering the Jerusalem riding a donkey, as Christians like to believe.
The prayers are lengthened and the Christians of Ethiopia start getting more and more involved in religious festivities.
3. Palm Leaves
A major tradition that is followed on Easter by the Christians residing in the country is wearing a headband of palm leaves. They represent the palm leaves that were laid down to make a path for Jesus Christ.
Habesha is referred to the pure white clothes that are worn by the Ethiopian Christians on the Easter services.
Habesha are simple plain white color dresses, wore by the families to commemorate Holy Week.
Dabo – a special large bread, is consumed by them in their Easter holidays.
Dabo is a soft piece of wheat bread that is large in size with a little bit of spices added in it. To add little bit of sweetness, they are coated with honey.
If you get a taste of it, you will know how delicious they are.
The Ethiopian families are very welcoming towards each other, enough bread is baked to offer a slice to everyone who visits the house near the occasion of Easter.
On Easter morning,
The Dabo is supposed to be cut by the priest or the man who earns for the family, as good omen for the following year.
All in all,
Easter in Ethiopia gives you a chance to see a more religious and simpler side of Easter festivals.
Vising Ethiopia for Easter 2019 will refresh your soul and you will get to witness something different this year.