Cheerful celebrations for the New Year in Ethiopia

by Steven Hofmann/LKO,  2013/10/08

To spend some time with the family, to eat together, to laugh together. On holidays many people look forward to a having a break from their hectic everyday life – no matter if they are in Germany or in another parts of the world. Just the dates of the feasts may be different from one country to another.

humedica coordinator Steven Hofmann lives and works in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Abeba. He discovered something interesting: the start of the New Year in September.

“New Year’s Day is one of the most important holidays in Ethiopia. People love this day and it is their big joy to prepare for it. Unlike Germany, New Year’s Day is celebrated on September 11th in Ethiopia. According to the Coptic calendar, that is the first day of the new year.

Community is in the center of this feast. The families gather, they visit friends and invite neighbors for a coffee. Those who have relatives outside Addis Abeba, leave the capital for some days in the country, in order to spend some time with their dear relatives.

Days before the feast the preparations are already in progress. The women prepare the local drink Tella, a pitta bread called Injera and many according sauces. People buy all the necessary ingredients and the hustle on the streets, markets and in the shops is even increasing during those days.

In front of the flats and the houses, sheep and chicken can be seen everywhere, awaiting patiently their doom. The Ethiopians themselves want to renew things and paint the walls of their houses or buy new clothes for the feast.

When the great day finally has arrived, everywhere you can see people butchering animals and cooking. People visit each other, so that they can spend at least some minutes of this important day together. In every home food and drinks are offered to the visitors.

Quite often the hosts’ small housings are literally bursting at the seams. You can really feel how much the people enjoy being together. They laugh a lot, dance and sing.

In the humedica sponsorship programs the New Year has also been celebrated in an adequate way. The families and their children visited the project facilities and enjoyed lemonade and pastries together with the staff.

As in all the other humedica activities for children during the summer holidays, the program was significantly designed by the children themselves. They acted in little plays in front of an enthusiastic public and they showed their hand painted works of art.

With bated breath the children then awaited the prizes for the best pupils of the past school year and the handover of the new school material. About 500 pupils could be supplied with pencils, exercise books, rubber gums etcetera by humedica. A beautiful way to start the new year!”

Thanks to your support New Year’s Day has become something special also for the children of the humedica sponsorship program. Please take over a family sponsorship, too, and offer new perspectives to a family or some family members in Ethiopia. A directed donation will also find its way to families in need. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Family Sponsorships”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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