Easter is celebrated tomorrow in Ethiopia. We tell you how it is celebrated.
The celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, his victory over death is one of the main celebrations of Christianity. For Ethiopian Coptic Christians it is even more important than Christmas (Genna) Ethiopian Easter (Fasika) is a holiday to celebrate with the family, to meet with loved ones, to express good wishes and exchange gifts.
Preceded by a period of Lent, 56 days before Easter, Ethiopian Christians do the “fasting” fast, which consists of not eating meat or animal products. Also, they should not eat anything between sunrise and sunset.
After Lent, the main acts of the Easter celebration are concentrated in the last four days, coinciding with the rest of the Christian communities.
On Palm Sunday Hosa’ena, the Ethiopian Holy Week (Semune Himamat) opens. This day the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is commemorated and the celebration is similar to that of the rest of the Christian confessions.
Holy Thursday (Selote Hamus) is celebrated liturgically with the foot washing ceremony, On Holy Thursday night Ethiopians commemorate the Last Supper by breaking dabbo bread and eating gulban, a bean stew and wheat.
Good Friday (Siqlet) begins with going to church, it is a day of fasting and prayer (all those of legal age are obliged to comply with the fast) and it is a day of preparation for the breaking of this long fasting period.
On Holy Saturday the party begins, the families prepare the night celebration, the religious sing, pray and distribute green reeds (qetema) and blessings among the people. At midnight, the meqdes of the churches open (central chapel where the tabot is kept) the religious procession around the tabot (representation of the ark of the covenant) accompanied by the faithful, dressed in white clothing called Yabesha Libs and carrying candles. At midnight, the drums break in a roar and the Resurrection of Christ is proclaimed. Three in the morning is the time when it is considered that the long fast can be broken. They celebrate the end of the fast by eating “dorowot” (chicken) and injera. This dinner that is served at home after the rite is one of the most anticipated of the year.
On Easter Sunday, in the morning breakfast is prepared with the remains of dinner, families gather to eat, sacrifice a kid for the banquet and dress in their best clothes. Elders and priests receive food as a gift.
መልካም ፋሲካ Melkam Fasika