Category Archives: wedding

A wedding that recalls the times of Emperors and Ras’s

Sora dancing at Lalibela wedding

Sora dancing at Lalibela wedding

I’m just back from a wonderful wedding in which the couple was blessed by the first real rain in Lalibela in many months. But a bit of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. A fantastic display of the aggressive shoulder dancing was seen at the various stops, much of it in the local “Sora” style.

The wedding party processed through the town on mules with high priests each leading a column in the procession. The bride & groom on the centre looking thoroughly regal.

The Bride and groom on mules at wedding

The Bride & Groom on Mules at their wedding

The procession stopped for frequent boughts of ritual ‘Ya Ho’ stick dancing, while the on lookers were amazed to see us all on mules (especially when the heavens opened). It was something the like of which Lalibela has never seen before and definitely recalled the times of Emperors and Ras’s (princes), a time before the advent of the motor car!

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Traditional wedding in Lalibela today

I’m really excited. One of my oldest and best friends in Ethiopia is tying the knot today. His bride and he both are from Lalibela and there is a real buzz today in town. Some 5,000 guests will be fed. The grooms party will head off to the bride’s house on mules to negotiate with her family to take her back to the groom’s house.

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Come & be a wedding guest in the countryside

As everyone living in Addis knows, now is the wedding season. From the end Timkat (marking the end of the harvest time) until the Lentan fast begins is the peak time to get married In Addis Ababa on weekends cavalcade after cavalcade goes past with ribbons decorating the cars and horns beeping in celebration.  In the countryside the wedding looks quite different – take away the decorated cars and replace with decorated horses, colourful pompoms handing from the bridal and saddle. The hooting is replaced with horns, and instead of banqueting in a hotel hall, shelters from the sun are fashioned with branches and leaves.


Any guests walking the rough the area will be invited to join in,something that adds to the occasion of the wedding.  In many areas wedding will be held on the non fasting days of the week, especially Tuesdays and Thursdays (Wednesdays and Fridays being fasting days) as Saturdays and Sundays are days for the church (The Judaic Sabeth and Sunday). So if you want to experience something very special, how about visiting the community guest houses on a Tesfa trek before the 24th February (the start of the Lentan Fast)?

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