How to celebrate New Year's day in Ethiopia

New year's eve and day have traditions in every country and culture. Here's Ethiopia's tradition for their Enkutatash.

Festivals, customs and traditions are very peculiar to Enkutatash. As the new year begins, Ethiopian homes mark the end of the rainy season with some of these traditions according to HandZaround.

1. With the Sheep and Chicken

It's tradition, in most houses, for a sheep and a chicken to be bought on New Year's Eve and then slaughtered, by the man of the house, early in the morning on New Year's day. The meals from the animals are prepared for the New Year's lunch. Dulet is prepared by thinly slicing the sheep's tripe, kidney and liver and is served raw. Doro Wat is gotten from the chicken, which is a red and spicy chicken stew served with the boiled eggs.

2. Eating porridge

Whilst the cooking of the main meal is ongoing, ga’at is prepared. Ga'at isa smooth porridge substance that is normally formed into bite-size ball, dipped into a mixture of butter and red peppers.

3. Fresh Grass

Long grass is cut from the garden and spread out on the floor of the house along the with sweet scented herb.

4. Roasted Corn

Unlike in Nigeria where roasted corn is sold on the street, this is a special event in Ethiopia. They make use of a little stove on which a corn on the cob is bbq’ed on the fire.

5. Break bread and pray

When the family is done with the big lunch, a big round loaf of bread is set out. Everyone stands up to pray and then the oldest man in the house cuts the bread and the pieces are shared amongst everyone.

6. Singing and dancing by the fire

Chibo — long bundles of tied up twigs and sticks — is placed in the stove’s fire in the house and once the bundles catch the fire, they’re quickly taken outside, to the front yard. A small fireplace is made up from fire and the dances and singing begins. The family make a circle around the fire where they sing and dance to happy songs whilst wishing each other well for the New Year. When the fire is dwindling, everyone jumps three times over the fire pit, to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year.

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