Photo Essay - March 9, 2003 -  MediaETHIOPIA


Few Ethiopian traditional celebrations are as shrouded in mystery and color as Eretcha - the  premier Oromo cultural celebration that marks the end of the rainy season in the Ethiopian highlands. A mixture of the Oromo traditional monotheist religion of Waqaa and in occasions elements of the Ethiopian orthodox church, Eretcha is celebrated every year towards the end of the month of September. Lake Hora in Debre Zeit is the most widely respected location of this celebration even though Eretcha is celebrated through out the country at different locations. 

Tradition has it that the Oromo people of Ethiopia annually give praise to the creator for the most valuable commodity on the Ethiopian highlands - water .

Our new photo essay team leader had traveled to Debre Zeit last September and photographed some of the colorful scenes of this holiday that dates hundreds of years. 

Pictures bottom-left to bottom-right going clockwise.

Putting grass and green leaves below the great Oak tree, the traditional coffee ceremony, a warrior (wearing feather? whatever happened to the lion's mane? - frankly we are disappointed at this guy wearing a feather and acting he killed a lion or something), beautiful Oromo girls in the Arsi leather outfits, more Oromo girls carrying Adey Abeba, Lake Hora, young men dancing towards the end of the celebrations, the great Oak tree that has stood for many many years (reminds us of Poet Laureate Tsegay G/DMedhin's the 'Oda Oracle'), and finally the one and only AbaGeda - the traditional leader appointed through the Geda System (the last Aba Geda who was almost 90 years old in 2001 was not seen in the 2002 celebration according to our photo team).  






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