Easter In Ethiopia

Sunday was a big day here. Easter, or Fasika, is the biggest Christian festival of the year. People visit their families in their home towns, go to the church and get to finally eat meat again after 55 days of vegetarian diet. We had a visitor to Abi Adi, Mike the volunteer from Maichew, so we enjoyed the local small-town Easter celebrations together.

On Saturday we visited the home of Getachew, Mike’s friend from Maichew, who came back to spend time with his family here. Getachew’s sisters made us coffee and braided Mike, Pam and Dhamayanthi’s hair in the local “sheruba” style.

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On Easter morning we woke up nice and early (4:30 am!!) to try and catch a bit of the church service, however when we got there at 5:00 am it was all long over and we only saw a few worshippers coming and going to the church. We were told later that most services go throught the night and finish at 3:00 am so people can go home to start preparing the day’s feast. Next was the slaughter of the goat at Getachew’s house, followed by a whole day of eating and drinking, including several cups of coffee. Getachew was especially happy to be spending the day with Bob, who he compared to Sean Connery!! Lots of kids also came to join in the fun with us, and balloons and bubbles made an appearance to much amusement.

On the way back home we were invited to a colleague’s house for more food and coffee. Dhamayanthi enjoyed wearing some local jewellery – in one of the photos she is with two of the children which helps complete the full Habasha look! Finally, it was yet more food and coffee at Mulubrhan’s house during a power cut which added to the atmosphere of the day.

The celebrations went on into Monday, with more invitations to two more houses, and even into Tuesday as everyone wore suits and their best clothes for the first day back to work. That was Easter, Ethiopian style, and not a chocolate egg in sight!

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