Ethiopian rituals & Ceremonies
I may be bit biased but.. I think Ethiopia is a land of amazing cultural traditions primarily because it has such a long history stretching back thousands of years. As a customer of Addis VIV you know that we focus on sacred living over here…. so it would make sense if you were curious about the most important ceremonies and rituals in Ethiopia. Well lucky for you my fellow home décor enthusiasts, I’m about to give you the lowdown 🙂
First up is Timkat. One of my absolute favorite religious festivals filled with ritual and ceremony. Timkat lands on January 19th and it’s a day to celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ. You’ll witness some of the most colorful processions, music, dancing, and feasting that you can imagine. If you’re a fan of parades and festivals, this one is definitely worth a visit. It features priests and worshippers carrying replicas of the Ark of the Covenant, which is so magical to witness in person. Even if you are not a religious person.. you will definitely enjoy the excitement and mystical vibes…
Next on the list is Meskel, a holiday marked on September 27th that celebrates the finding of the True Cross by the Empress Helena in the fourth century. Think bonfires, processions, and joyous vibes…. If you’re feeling like you need a little spark in your life, this is the holiday for you! It’s like a sacred party if you will. Lot’s of singing and dancing. Bonus points if you like to dance around a fire while the world burns (don’t worry, it’s a controlled fire).
Then there is Enkutatash, also known as the Ethiopian New Year, which falls on September 11th. I know I know… we have a completely different calendar than most… I’ll do a blog on our calendar and the fact that it is 2015 in Ethiopia soon… But back to Enkutatash…It’s a time for new beginnings, renewal, and feasting. This one is a no-brainer for those of us who love starting fresh and embracing new opportunities. Plus, you’ll get to try my favorite dish, doro wat, a spicy chicken stew, and injera, a delicious flatbread that’s eaten with almost every meal in Ethiopia.
Lastly, we have Fasika, or Ethiopian Easter, which is usually celebrated in April. It’s a time of great religious significance and is marked by a 55-day fast, (happening as we speak!) which is broken on Easter Sunday with a feast of traditional Ethiopian dishes. So…Light some candles and get ready to be amazed by the symbolism of resurrection and new beginnings.
Now, you might be wondering how you can incorporate these traditions into your home decor. Well, my friends, think vibrant colors, symbolism of renewal, and lighting elements. You can create beautiful displays that reflect the themes of each holiday. I’m picturing gorgeous candles (insert your favorite Addis VIV candle), colorful vases, and unique sculptures inspired by Timkat. Or perhaps some using our Ethiopian handmade textiles filled with rich colors and traces of gold , as a tapestry or formal table cloth for a special dinner…that will definetly evoke the spirit of Fasika.
Ethiopia’s ceremonies and rituals are such a big part of who I am and the inspiration behind creating a line that is dedicated to sacred, slow, intentional living. As children we were indoctrinated into the world of rituals but for us it was more like fun festivals we looked forward to where you connect with other children, are fed by strangers and dance in our version of a mosh pit with others. As adults the sacred value of these historic ceremonies and traditions become crystalized in our hearts and souls forever. This is why incorporating the essence of these ceremonies into our products is so important to me. Because I envision a larger world of people slowing down and enjoying one another through ceremony, celebration and peaceful union. So, next time you’re looking for some home décor inspiration or choosing which Addis VIV candle is right for you, think about these traditions and which one you identify with more…incorporate them into your sacred living space, become intoxicated by scent and dance!