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Ethiopia Patriots Day – 5th May

In the first week of May there are two holidays: Monday 1st May and Friday 5th May. These are excellent opportunities to get out and se some of the stunning countryside and historical sights of Ethiopia. Why not book a Tesfa trek, a perfect way to see the scenery, culture and some of the wildlife […]

Visit the new Tesfa guesthouses – now open

If you have been on a Tesfa trek before then why not try something new? We have opened new guesthouses in the Simien Mountains. They are situated to the south of the National Park, in a woreda called Janamora. To access this area, until the new service roads are built you drive through the National […]

The last week of Lent in Ethiopia is the most rigorous fasting of all

Yesterday (9th April) was Palm Sunday or Hosanna – the Sunday before Easter.  It is a very special day in the Orthodox church commemorating Jesus’s march into Jerusalem on a donkey with Palm fonds laid before him. It is marked with palms (worn by many worshippers on hands or head), processions and special services in the […]

The Battle of Adwa – 121 years since the Ethiopian Army defeated the Italians

Today is Adwa day, an Ethiopian holiday that  the Ethiopian victory of the Battle of Adwa in 1896. This was the battle that ended Italian Colonial ambitions in Ethiopia (until Mussolini gave renewed energy to colonial aspirations).  What happened? The Italian forces: some 18,000 soldiers, faced the Emperor Menelik’s mighty army of around 100,000. The Ethiopian […]

Fifty five days of fasting underway in Ethiopia

As many will know the big fasting season in Ethiopia started this week on Monday. Fasting is appears in many religions around the world. But in the west its has lost its rigour for most people. However in the Ethiopian Orthodox church there are many fasting days through the year. In fact a strict observer of […]

A country says farewell to an historic figure.

Dignitaries gathered yesterday at Selassie church in the centre of Addis Ababa to pay their respects to Richard Pankhurst OBE, who died last week at the age of 89. With his mother Sylvia Pankhurst, the famous suffragette and long time supporter of Ethiopia, he moved to Ethiopia in 1956. As a historian he worked at Addis Ababa […]

Melkam Timkat … Timkat explained.

So tonight 18th January, is the eve of Timkat. Processions made there way across towns in urban areas and over the fields in the countryside, to a place where in the morning the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan river is commemorated. Water will be blessed and the multitudes will be splashed with the holy […]

Ethiopia prepares for Timkat

Preparations are underway for one festival that seems to encapsulate Ethiopia’s unique place in the world: it is Timkat – or ‘Baptism’. It is frequently referred to as Epiphany, which undersells what is a very special and Ethiopian day. In fact it is really spread over 2 or 3 days. And it start tomorrow- Wed 18th […]

Christmas is coming .. in Ethiopia

Melkam Gena / Happy Christmas Christmas is coming and sheep is for the pot. Onions need cutting and enjara pan is hot. If you can’t afford a sheep a chicken will do. If you can’t afford a chicken then God bless you. This adaptation tells a few home truths about festivals in Ethiopia such as […]