Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Traditions in Ethiopia

I was curious about Christmas is celebrated in Ethiopia.  I found the following information at World of Christmas

Ethiopian Christmas is known as Ganna. It is celebrated on 7th of January. Christmas celebrations take place both in ancient churches carved from solid volcanic rock and modern churches designed in three concentric circles. Men and boys are made to sit separately from girls and women and the choir sings from the outside circle. Candles are given to people as they enter the church. They light the candles, then walk three times around the church and stand throughout the mass, which may take as long as three hours.

Traditional Christmas dish includes Injera, a sourdough pancake like bread, which serves as both plate and fork along with Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew served in ornamented baskets. Giving gifts is not a big deal in Ethiopia and children usually receive clothes as presents. On Christmas Eve, people remain outdoors and pray and chant all night. In the morning, a colorful procession marches to the nearby hilltop headed by three young men with whips to keep everybody in line, where a service is held. After the prayers, priests bless the bread and wine and distribute it to everybody. People dance, play games and feast for the rest of the day.

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