Festivals

Patriots’ Day

Patriot’s Day celebrates the victory over the Italian fascists in 1941 and is commemorated on the 6th of April every year.

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Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash)

Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and 6 days in leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind between September 11 and January 8.

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Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket)

Timket, feast of Ethiopian Epiphany is the greatest festival of the year falling on the 19 January just two weeks after the Ethiopian Christmas. It is actually a three-day affair beginning on the eve of Timket 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.       

Tour 42 takes you to enjoy Timket and to explore the Simien Mountains.

Finding of the True Cross (Meskel)

Meskal has been celebrated in the country for over 1600 years. The word actually means “cross” and the feast commemorates the discovery of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified, by the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. The original event took place on 19 March 326 AD. But the feast is now celebrated on 27 September.

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Tour 40 takes you to enjoy Meskel and to explore the Simien Mountains.

Ethiopian Easter

Ethiopian Easter, which takes place in  the Ethiopian Orthodox Churches throughout the country, tends to fall after Easter in the western calendar. It is a more important festival than Christmas for Ethiopians’, since death is more important than birth in Orthodox Christianity.

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Ethiopian Christmas (Gemma)

Ethiopian Christmas, known as “Lidet”, is not the primary religious and secular festival that it has become in Western countries. Falling on 7 January, it is celebrated seriously by the Ethiopian Orthodox church services that go on throughout the night, with people moving from one church to another. Traditionally, young men played a game similar to hockey, called Genna, on this day, and now Christmas has also come to be known by that name. Genna/Christmas is feasted at the end of a long fasting season, in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem in Israel.

Tour 41 takes you to enjoy Gemma and to explore the Simien Mountains

Adwa Day

Commemorates the victory of Emperor Menelik II over the aggressor Italians at Adawa in 1896. It takes place on 2nd of March every year.