Ethiopia as a country is located at the horn of the African continent and it is filled with a lot of things that will make your tour memorable. The country is filled with mostly Orthodox people and they carry out most of the festivals that you get to enjoy while in the country. And since the calendar that is used in Ethiopia is like eight years behind the Gregorian calendar that is used by most countries, their festivals always fall on different days like New Years, Christmas and Easter.
There are a lot festivals that you can carry out once you visit the country and therefore you should be prepared for a field trip filled with all the fun activities that are carried out in the different tourist attractions in the country and these activities are going to be discusses according to the months of the year and help you decide as to when you really want to visit the country.
January is a dry season in Ethiopia and it is a good time for one to visit the country. You will experience some rainfall but it will not be as heavy as some months. January marks the baptism month of Jesus in the River Jordan and during this celebration that lasts for three days, you will be able to see priests dressing up in gold as they head to the Tabot Jan meda which looks like the ancient Noah’s Ark in Addis Ababa. After the long match, the priests pray over water which they then sprinkle on the people as an act of cleansing their souls.
This is also the same time when the Ethiopians also celebrate their Christmas and during this holiday many games are played while enjoying music including the Yegena Chewata but remember to pack light clothes due to the warm weather during this month and all these celebrations are carried out in white because the locals believe that white is a color of purity.
February is a dry month and the best time for anyone who wants to go mountain climbing and trekking through the different parks in the country. This is also the best time to go and watch the great migration of antelopes which also includes Kobs and these can be seen migrating from mostly East Africa as they move around in search of pasture and water and then they head back to the other countries after almost two months.
When the colonists came to Ethiopia they were fought off by the Adwa and this made it the only country in Africa that was not colonized. The battle that was won by the Adwa is always remembered in this month. Many people gather around to remember the fallen heroes who fought for their freedom. This is also the same month when the bull fighting takes place and this ceremony is done in order to initiate the young boys into adulthood.
The young boys are made to pass through a corridor which has ten bulls of which they are supposed to ride on without falling down. And just in case they do not fall off, they receive the title Maza and of which they are allowed to marry any man woman that they would want to marry.
April is a sunny time when it comes to Ethiopia and this is the time when the Pascal celebrations take place. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the calendar that is used in Ethiopia is quite different and that makes the pascal celebration to fall on a different date than other countries.
The celebrations are carried out after two months of non-stop fasting and during the fasting period, there is zero consumption of meat and that is why mist people anticipate the celebrations because on this day, it is when you get to taste all kinds of meat in the country.
May is the start of the rainy season although it is still the dry season. During this month the Ethiopians celebrate all the veterans that have lost their lives so that they live in harmony and this takes place in the capital city of Addis Ababa. If you want to know more abrupt the battle between the Italians and the Ethiopians, this is the place to be as you will get to listen to the different stories that are told by those that were there and those that just heard about them. It’s a time to get to know Ethiopian’s history.
June is a rainy season in Ethiopia and it is a very good time for one to visit the country especially if you are interested in birding. During the rainy season, it is extremely easy for one to see the different bird species as this is when they come and move around the water bodies in search of food and water. The lush green trees and vegetation in the area also gets you to have some alone time with your family as few tourists can be seen in the country this time of the month.
Carry some heavy clothes because the weather can change drastically and become a bit cold and be careful with the roads because they become too muddy and impassable sometimes.
July according to the calendar in Ethiopia is when the Sidama people celebrate their New Year. It is a rainy season although there will be days where you will get to see the sun without rain and this makes it perfect for the celebrations. The New Year celebration which is also known as the Fiche chamballala and it takes place on the shores of the Lake Hawassa.
August is the last month of the rainy season in Ethiopia and it is always celebrated in style. When it comes to celebrations, young girls and women gather around and they move door to door singing while beating their drums. When the girls come to your door step you are supposed to give them something either food or money as a sign of appreciation. The festival takes place as a commemoration of the feast of the death of the Virgin Mary and her Incarnation.
And as the girls are carrying out their festivals, the boys also commemorate the Buhe festival where they remember joseph of Tabor. They also move from one place to another singing while also beating drums and it is only tradition that they are appreciated with gifts or money.
When it comes to evening, bonfires are lit everywhere but beware of the rain as it sometimes ruin the celebrations.
September marks the end of the rainy season in Ethiopia and it marks the beginning of a new year in the country. Ethiopians celebrate their New Year on 11th and it is the only time when you get to see the yellow daisies that happen to grow only once a year. During the New Year celebrations, everyone is invited to join the celebrations which normally take place in the capital city of Addis Ababa and you can also join the celebrations where you get to put on the Ethiopian cultural wear, taste their food and get to mingle with the various locals that join the celebrations.
October is dry season when it comes to Ethiopia and it is perfect for people to come and visit. The locals mostly take on the Thanksgiving Day in October and it is widely celebrated in the whole country. The ceremony which is locally known as the Irrecha is celebrated by the Orombo group at the Hora Lake. You can join the Orombo in the celebrations and have fun while in the country.
November is also known to be a dry and sunny season in Ethiopia and this makes it one of the best times to visit the country. During this month most Ethiopians gather around in the same place to celebrate the day of the Ten Commandments. This is celebrated on 30th November by numerous orthodox and Christians and you get to enjoy jogging alongside some of the country’s top runners and it is done during the day.
During December, the heat in the country is on the minimal and this is the best time to visit the country’s hottest place which is also considered to be the hottest place on earth the Danakil Depression where the oldest volcanic mountain is located. The bubbling lava makes it hard to go to the place but even if it still remains hot, the only time it is a bit cool to visit in December. It is also known to receive little or no rainfall at all and this makes it the best time for all those who love trekking and game viewing.
Ethiopian festivals are mostly connected to the different cultures that are practiced in the country and this makes it fun because you get to learn more about the country’s culture and the reason as to why the various festivals are carried out.