Category Archives: Tensae

Melcam Fasika – Happy Easter

Photo by Anthony Pappone Photography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronnyreportage/)

Photo by Anthony Pappone Photography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronnyreportage/)

Enkwanaderasachu

Best wishes to everyone celebrating Easter this weekend.

Easter in Ethiopia, known as Fasika is celebrated according to the Orthodox or Eastern church calendar. Some years it falls on the same day as in the western church, but this year it is as far apart as it can be.

Fasika is a Ge’ez (the ancient liturgical language of Ethiopia) word and also the word in Amharic and Tigrinya for Easter. Easter is sometimes called Tensae a Ge’ez word meaning to rise). It is one of the most important holidays in Ethiopia marking the end of a long 55 day Lenten fast. On Easter Sunday chicken, cheep, goats and cattle are dispatched for the pot as the fasting comes to an end in no uncertain terms.

There is a lot of fasting in Ethiopia with 180 days of fasting through the year (almost half the year is fasting) and more for priests and monks and the like who fast for 250 days a year. Fasting means abstaining from and meat or dairy produce. Fish was traditionally allowed but it is now common for many to exclude fish too.

Following Easter there is no fasting for one month until the regular Wednesday and Friday fasts restart.

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