Time of New Year is one of the eagerly awaited holidays and well celebrated among the Ethiopians across the country. The time marks the end of the long rainy season that falls between June-August, the starts of class and new carriers too.
Ethiopian mountains and valleys are filled with green carpets and yellowish flower that gives the surrounding a magnificent view catching the eyes ad spirit of any by passers.
Traditionally the last 4 or 5 days before the New Year are considered as a period and moment of cleansing where many would go on cleaning their homes, compounds, surrounding and themselves. Rain that fall in these days are considered as holy by many followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and people take an open air bath. Especially children of the rural parts of the country eagerly wait for these days of natural festivity where they exercise their right of being naked openly.
Also a tradition of making bon fire and burning it on the night of the eve of the New Year is made and a circular move made in the house and the surrounding with wishes and chanting of good wish for the coming New Year. The burning bon fire is believed to clean any evil spirit from the house and the environ. Then boys and elders gather outside to dance and sing particular songs that announces the coming of the New Year while a bon fire is burning. In cities like Addis Ababa, people also use light works too.
Ethiopian women got busy for welcoming New Year two weeks before arrival making preparations of food stuff. They start to brew homemade beer (Tella) and hone made wine (Tej), prepare different prices used for cooking the hot spicy chicken (Doro wet) and other food items, making chili and peppers too.
On the early morning of the new year young boys dressed with their new attires goes from house to house holding hand drawn picture of flower and angels, written on them good wish for the house hold. Also young girls wearing their cotton made white clothing sing at every house their usual new year son wishing and blessing the house. The ladies normally use locally made animal skin drums.
The day is spent by visiting friends and relatives with different gifts but mainly food and drink items. With such spirit of festivity the Ethiopians would hold an active spirit to welcome the soon coming holiday of “Meskel”, which is celebration of the finding of the true cross.
Ethiopian new years are named after the four books of the gospel, Mathew, Luke, Mark and John.
Celebrate Ethiopia new year in 2016 (September 11) with us and be 7 years younger!