Sunday, April 27, 2008

Enkuwan Le Berhane Tensayewu Adderesachu!

Today is Easter in Ethiopia (Fasika). I believe the post title means, "Happy Easter," but with the way my Amharic education is going it could also mean,"How do I get to the airport?"

Easter is a big deal in Ethiopia. It is more important than Christmas (Gena).

From Whats on When...

"Easter Friday is a day of preparation and church-going. People go and prostrate themselves in church, up and down, up and down one hundred and one times. The main religious mass takes place on Saturday night, a sombre, sacred occasion with music and dancing until the early hours of the morning."

I thought the Catholic mass was difficult, what with all the kneeling, and standing and sitting. I never really did get those movements right when I was growing up. Like a lemming I would just follow along. I followed my Dad for a while until I realized that he never stood, knelt, or sat at the right time. An old football injury had absolved him from the calisthenics.

One hundred and one times? These Orthodox Christians have been on a vegan diet for the fifty five days of lent leading up to Easter. Here is a video, but beware, the sound quality is poor.

"At three am, everyone returns home to break their fast and a chicken is slaughtered at midnight for the symbolic occasion. In the morning, after a rest, a sheep is slaughtered to commence the feasting on Easter Sunday."

Not exactly a visit from the Easter bunny. In fact, if I were the Easter bunny I would high-tail my little cotton tail right out of the vicinity.

I have gotten mixed advice from local Ethiopians in regards to attending one of their masses. Some are very encouraging and feel that we would be welcomed, others flatly say, "I wouldn't recommend it."

I am sure my prostrating would be all wrong anyway.

Happy How Do I Get to the Fasika!


  1. Thank for the information on Ethiopian Easter. I love learning more about their culture. I can't wait until my daughter's English is better, so that I can learn more from her.

    I love your blog. It is informatve and FUN.

  2. So I just read through your whole blog cuz that's what I do when the kids go to bed and it's guys night out. :) Awesome stuff. Can't wait to hear about your referral.

  3. Melkam Fasika to you too! I had the whole when to kneel, sit, stand, thing down, but what always messed me up was at the reading of the gospel when they do the cross on the forehead, mouth and heart? Is that what they do? I always mess that up. I've had one or two non-serious sounding offers from one or two Habesha women to bring me to church with them, but I'm pretty sure they really do not want to. We'll see.

  4. Katy- Thanks for not pointing out that I can't even spell the most important ET holiday.
    About that Gospel thing...I always just scratched my nose and hoped no one would notice.

  5. Very cool, I did not know anything about the Ethiopian Easter before reading this! You are a fountain of good info.!