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Tribal and other events

Irecha (Thanks giving to God): One of the prominent Oromo Society core cultures which is widely celebrated every year in September on Sunday following the finding of the true cross festival.

Chambalaalla-Fichee: the Sidama peoples New Year Celebration at Gudmale, Awassa. Chambalaalla is a day where series of cultural festivities take place. Fichchee is the eve of Cambalaalla. Sidaama exercises lunar system of calendar. There is no fixed date for it but an ascetic group of elders, after dealing with the movements of moon, star and other sky bodies, declare the eve of Chambalaalla-Fichee.

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Public holidays

March 2 Victory of Adwa
The Battle of Adwa was fought on 1 March 1896 between Ethiopia and Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo–Ethiopian War.
Of all the African powers, only the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia remained completely free from European domination by the end of the 19th century. This was no accident of history; Ethiopia secured its sovereignty by inflicting a decisive and humiliating defeat upon the Italian invaders at Adowa (or Adwa) on March 1, 1896. The battle at Adowa was, at the time, the greatest defeat inflicted upon a European army by an African army since the time of Hannibal, and its consequences were felt well into the 20th century. As an example of colonial warfare on an epic scale, it cannot be surpassed. As an example of the twin follies of arrogance and underestimation of one's enemies, it should never be forgotten.
May 5 Patriots Day

Ethiopia, which Italy had unsuccessfully tried to conquer in the 1890s, was in 1934 one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland that December 1933 gave Benito Mussolini an excuse to intervene. Rejecting all arbitration offers, the Italians invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935.

The occupation of Ethiopia by Italy triggered a resistance by Ethiopian patriots led by such gallant personalities as Ras Abebe Aregay, Belay Zeleke, Abdis Aaga etc. and lasted for five years until the Italian forces were finally defeated in May 5 1941.
May 28 the Down fall of the Derge

The down fall of the Military Regime of Derge.

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Muslims Festivals

Id Al Fatar (Id-ul-Fitr)
Id Al Fatar (Id-ul-Fitr) means the 'festival of breaking the fast'. The fast of Ramadan is broken with special prayers and festivities. 'Fitr' is derived from the word 'fatar' meaning 'breaking'. Another connotation suggests that it is derived from fitrah or 'alms'. Certain Sunni Muslims believe that fitr comes from fitrat meaning 'nature' and Id-ul-Fitr is the celebration of god's magnanimity in providing nature to man. Celebrated on the first day of the new moon in Shawwal, it marks the end of Ramadan.

Eid al Adhha
Eid al Adhha this religious event begins about 70 days after the end of Ramadan and is dedicated to Abraham's sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son. This event lasts for four days.

Birth of Prophet Mohammad/Maulid
The birthday of the founder of Islam is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in all Muslims country through out the world. However the date for the holiday changes every year because Islamic holidays are based on the Hijri calendar.

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Gishen Mariam Festival around Dessie

Gishen Mariam Festival around Dessie; October 1 While the whole country celebrates the finding of the True Cross on (September 26th & 27th ), the commemoration of the deposition of the right arm of the True Cross at the remote mountain monastery of Gishen Mariam (in the present Sothern Wollo Zone, Amhara Region), makes the celebration there especially colorful. The occasion is observed with the largest and most spectacular intensity on October 1st each year.

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Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany)

Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany), which falls on the 19th of January is the day when Christians celebrate the baptism of Christ. It's a three-day festival and all the ceremonies are conducted with great pomp. The eve of Timket (18 January) is called Ketera. On this day the tabots of each church are carried out in procession to a place near a river where the next day's celebration will take place. A special tent is set up for each tabot, each hosting a proud manner depicting the church's saint. The ceremony is accompanied by hymns and dances of the priests, drum beating, bell ringing and blowing of trumpets.

The next morning (19 January) around dawn ecclesiastics and believers go to the water and attend the praying. A senior priest dips a golden processional cross in the water to bless it and extinguishes a consecrated candle in it. Then he sprinkles the water on the people in commemoration of Christ's baptism.

The next day (20 January) is the feast of the Archangel Michael, Ethiopia's most popular saint. This morning, his tabot is returned to his church, again accompanied by singing and dancing of priests. This marks the end of the three-day celebration. The best place to attend the event is Lalibela, Gondar or Addis Ababa.

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Genna (Ethiopian Christmas)

Officially known by the Church as Baal Lidet (Ethiopian Christmas) is on the 7th of January.

The Ethiopian name for Christmas is Genna, which comes from the word Gennana (eminent) and expresses the coming of the Lord to free mankind of its sins. Genna is also the name of a hockey-like game which is said to have been played by the shepherds when they heard of the birth Christi. Men and boys in villages now play the traditional Genna game with great enthusiasm in the late afternoon of the Christmas day - a spectacle much enjoyed by village communities and elders. Genna begins early in the day, around 6 AM, when people gather in churches for mass.

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Meskel (the finding of the true cross)

Maskel is said to be in memory of the finding of the true cross by Empress Eleni of Ethiopia.

The eve of Meskel (26th of September) is called Demera. A huge bonfire is built, topped with a cross to which flowers are tied. The patriarch of the Orthodox Church leads the lightening ceremony. After the bonfire is blessed dancing and singing begins around it and an inner feeling of brightness spreads through all those around it.

The day after Demera is Meskel. The festival coincidences with the mass blooming of yellow Meskel daisies, which are a symbol of a new beginning after the rainy season. In every major city the ceremony is celebrated colorfully, however the best place to celebrate Meskel is the capital Addis Ababa.