Hoseana( Palm Sunday ) is celebration of entry of Jesus to Jerusalem riding a donkey. Children in Jerusalem sang Hoseana praising Jesus Christ.The day is celebrated in a peculiar way. It’s very common to see laity wearing cube shaped palm ring and wearing palm stripe on the head. The feast proceeds the holiest week in the entire Lent.
The last week in known in Ethiopia as “himamat” which corresponds to “passion week.” It is the time during which the laity commemorates and live moments of pain and suffering leading to Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The most pious ones extend their fasting time to two days, three days or even a week depending their spiritual strength. Along with the fasting, prostration is the hallmark of the week. The liturgy for the week is a bit different and emphasizes the experiences of Jesus leading to Golgotha where he was crucified.
Good Friday (Sekilet) From Friday morning to Saturday evening there is prayer that takes place in every church in memory of Jesus Christ. This is a special day for Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and it is celebrated with a great devotion and in a very ancient way. On this day, the faithful who has been fasting the whole day without any water or food, dressed in their dazzling white cloths, folk to church to attend the prayers and performance of the priest and deacons. It really creates a special feeling to witness the devotion of the faithful and the special practices made on this day remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ when he was crucified. Every performance of the priest and the deacons as well as the devotion of the people takes you centuries back.
Fasika (Easter) is celebrated after 55 days severe Lent fasting (Hudade or Abye Tsome). Orthodox Tewahedo Christians do not eat meat and dairy products for the whole 55 days. Vegetarian meals such as lentils, ground split peas, grains, fruit and varieties of vegetable stew accompanied by injera and/or bread are only eaten on these days. The first meal of the day is taken after 3 PM (9 o’clock in the afternoon Ethiopian time) during the fasting days, except Saturdays and Sundays, where a meal is allowed after the morning service.
On Easter eve people go to church and celebrate with candles which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service which begins at about 6 PM (12 o’clock in the evening Ethiopian time) and ends at about 2 AM (8 o’clock after mid-night Ethiopian time).
Everyone goes home to break the fast with the meat of chicken or lamb, slaughtered the previous night after 6 PM, accompanied with injera and traditional drinks (i.e. tella or tej). Like Christmas, Easter is also a day of family re-union, an expression of good wishes with exchange of gifts (i.e. lamb, goat or loaf of bread).
APR 28 2021, Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa. Have the tour of the capital: visit the National museum, Unity Park and St George church. Check in at hotel then and have a free afternoon. Meals free. ON (overnight) hotel
29, Day 2: Fly to Bahirdar. Morning drive to visit the Blue Nile falls (it takes about 1 hour drive and then 20 minute walk, each way). Admire these spectacular falls and amazing views. Afternoon make a boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit the monasteries over its islands, as Ura Kidane Mehret and Asua Mariam.Dinner & ON hotel in Bahirdar.
30, Day 3: Morning drive to Gondar. It takes about 2 hrs driving, visit on the way very nice landscapes.Afternoon visit the castles compound including king Fasiladas and other castles, King Fasiladas bath and the Debre Birhan Sellasie church (light of Trinity) with wonderful murals. Full day visit the Good Friday ceremonies. Dinner & ON hotel in Gondar
MAY 01, Day 4: Fly to Lalibela. Transfer hotel. Afternoon visit the rock-hewn churches, defined as the 8th wonder in the world. Evening visit the colorful Easter ceremonies. Dinner & ON hotel
02, Day 5: Morning visit the remaining churches in town. Afternoon take part of the coffee ceremony (the coffee ceremony in an important part of Ethiopian culture). Dinner & ON hotel
03, Day 6: Fly to Axum. Visit the steles, St Mary of Tsion church (where legend says the Ark of Covenant is deposited), the bath & palace of Queen of Sheba and more. Dinner & ON hotel
04, Day 7: Fly to Addis. Have day use room till 18 hrs. Evening Green Land Tours will invite you a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurant for cultural dances from the different ethnic groups. Then transfer to the airport for flight back home.
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