The Ethiopian holidays celebrate the country’s rich traditions. Cultural affairs and sporting events abound throughout the year, the biggest of which are held in the thriving capital city of Addis Ababa. Dance and musical performances are a common theme of traditional events, along with art and religion.
Genna Festival : celebrates the Ethiopian Christmas. It falls on January 7 each year (according to the Julian calendar) when night-long church services are held followed by fun fellowships with townsfolk.
Timkat-Feast : The Timkat Feast is a three-day festival on January 19 that celebrates the baptism of Christ on theJordan River. Beautifully decorated tabots (tablets onto which the Ten Commandments are enscribed) that represent the Ark of the Covenant are paraded around the city.
Enkutatash: Ethiopians still use the Julian calendar, which is why their New Year falls on September 11. This day overlaps with the end of the rainy season and is celebrated with all kinds of merriment, gift exchanges, flowers, and cards.
Meskal : The Meskal Festival is celebrated on September 27 with floral processions and the burning of torches. It commemorates the discovery of the True Cross, part of which is preserved at the Gishen Marien Monastery.
Irecha : This September pilgrimage event is held around Lake Hora. The Oromo tribes visit yearly to perform different religious rites and ceremonies.
The Great Ethiopian Run :One of the most outstanding races in Ethiopia, this late November event attracts thousands of runners and athletes to compete on a 6.25 mile track.