Five Ethiopian Photographers Share How Easter Is Celebrated In Their Country

If we were to talk about the most original way of celebrating Easter, we would talk about the Ethiopian Orthodox Easter period. While Easter for most people is widely recognised from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, in Ethiopia the commemoration goes back much further with 55 days of fasting and remembrance.

No matter what your faith, a look inside this countries unique way of celebrating a major holiday around the world is sure to be interesting. We rounded up five Ethiopian photographers to share what Ethiopian Orthodox Easter means for their country and how it is celebrated among different communities  and churches. Here’s what each of them had to share:

@eyoeal_kefyalew (Eyoeal Kefyalew – Ethiopian Discoverer Photographer)

“As the holidays approach it triggers a new chaos in the street life. Streets overwhelm with merchants and venders reminding everyone of the festivities to come. Religion constitutes the major portion of the society’s virtue. Mornings are often associated with going to church especially on the weekends. Women play a key role on holidays. Chores and tasks double in this hustle and bustle to make the holiday a memorable one.”

@eyoeal_kefyalew: REligio embedded in Urban life

@eyoeal_kefyalew: Religion embedded in every day urban life during Holy Week

@eyoeal_Kefyalew: Merchants and Vendors Bring out the hype of the holidays.

@eyoeal_Kefyalew: Merchants and Vendors Bring out the hype of the holidays.

@eyoeal_kefyalew: Weekend mornings emphasise church going

@eyoeal_kefyalew: Weekend mornings emphasise church going

@eyoeal_kefyalew: Women show significance of the holidays through all the work they do.

@eyoeal_kefyalew: Women show significance of the holidays through all the work they do.

@sincerelyhilina (Hilina Abebe – Ethiopian Documentary Photographer)

“The market often reflects the feel of the holiday in Ethiopia. Especially on the eve, people flock to the market to shop (from food products to housewares to clothing).”

@Sincerelyhilina: Market flocks on Easter's eve.

@Sincerelyhilina: Market flocks on Easter’s eve.

@sincerelyhilina: Men selling onions - main ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine - as Market Flocks on Easter eve.

@sincerelyhilina: Men selling onions – main ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine – as Market Flocks on Easter eve.

@sincerelyhilina: 'ketema' used in homes as symbolic decoration during Easter.

@sincerelyhilina: ‘ketema’ used in homes as symbolic decoration during Easter.

@aronsime (Aron Sime – Addis Ababa based Photographer)

“Holy Trinity (kiddist Selassie) is the most important and historical place of worship in Addis Ababa. It was built by his Majesty Haile Selassie Afewerk Tekle’s depiction of the Holy Trinity, with Matthew (man), Mark (lion), Luke (cow), John (dove) peering through the clouds. There are also some brilliant stained-glass windows (those on the north depict scenes from the Old Testament, those to the south from the New) and two beautifully caved imperial thrones, each made of white, ebony, ivory and marble.”

@ab_onthestreet: Merkato Doro Tera - where live chicken are bought for the holiday

@ab_onthestreet: Merkato Doro Tera – where live chicken are bought for the holiday

@ab_onthestreet: Merkato Doro Tera - where live chicken are bought for the holiday

@ab_onthestreet: Merkato Doro Tera – where live chicken are bought for the holiday

@ab_onthestreet: Siblings waiting for their mother before church

@ab_onthestreet: Siblings waiting for their mother before church

@maile_tadese (Maile Tadese – Ethiopian Photographer Focuses on Ethiopian Storytelling)

“On the day of the Good Frieday, followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church walk to Madhanealem, the church of the Savior of the World to commemorate the torture and sufferings of Jesus Christ. The church has more than 200 fasting days throughout the year and one that is taken very seriously is Hudade, which involves 55 days of fasting and abstinence from meat and dairy before Easter. Since Fasika, ‘Easter’ comes after almost two months of abstinence from meat and dairy, the celebration is the reverse involving cooking meat, chicken and egg.”

@maile_tadese: Followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church walking to Medhanealem

@maile_tadese: Followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church walking to Medhanealem

@maile_tadese: Priest moves censer with burning incense on the symbolic dead body of Christ.

@maile_tadese: Priest moves censer with burning incense on the symbolic dead body of Christ.

@ab_onthestreet (Abinet Teshome – Ethiopian Photographer Sharing His Everyday Life)

“As the fasting season comes closer to an end, Ethiopian Orthodox believers spend the day of Good Friday, by commemorating the sacrifice of Jesus and his crucifixion. It is a day of prayers in which most believers spend the whole day in Church. Pictured are two Siblings waiting for their mother to go to church at the Bole bridge,  April 14, 2017.”

@aronsime: Olive loaf used by priest to bless crowd.

@aronsime: Olive loaf used by priest to bless crowd.

@aronsime: Holy Trinity, the most important place of worship in Addis Ababa

@aronsime: Holy Trinity, the most important place of worship in Addis Ababa

@aronsime: Washing of the synod's feet

@aronsime: Washing of the synod’s feet

If you’re looking to experience Ethiopia up close and personal join us in January 2018 for our first voyage to this dynamic country with one of the most unique histories on the continent.

Tastemakers Africa Staff

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