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Ethiopia Holidays and Festivals

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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.

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.

Video : Ethiopia Vacation Travel Video Guide
Ethiopia, Land of Origins…
Ethiopia-travel-tips

Travel – Tips to Know Before You Visit Ethiopia

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All visitors, except Kenya and Djibouti nationals, are required to obtain entry visas. Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 36 countries listed below are now allowed to receive their tourist visas upon their arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, and at the airport in Dire Dawa.

The visa fee is dependent of the type of visa requested (tourist, business, journalitst, etc.). The latest fees for tourist visa-upon-arrival is US $40 for 30 days and US $60 for 60 days.

Traveler Visa : All visitors, except Kenya and Djibouti nationals, are required to obtain entry visas. Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 36 countries listed below are now allowed to receive their tourist visas upon their arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, and at the airport in Dire Dawa. The visa fee is dependent of the type of visa requested (tourist, business, journalitst, etc.). The latest fees for tourist visa-upon-arrival is US $40 for 30 days and US $60 for 60 days. The procedure is relatively quick and painless; just look for a door with a sign “Visa” on the left hand before the immigration counters at Bole airport.

Nationals of the following countries can get up to three months tourist visas upon their arrival at Bole Internaltional Airport: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (south Korea), Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

High Altitude : Addis Ababa and Ethiopia’s highlands you will be visiting are at high elevations. High altitude can affect healthy individuals in a number of ways including: dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches.

Climate: The predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide topographic-induced variation. As a highland country, Ethiopia has a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the country’s major cities are located at elevations of around 2,000 – 2,500 metres (6,600 – 8,200 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum, and Addis Ababa – the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet).

Ethiopia has three different climate zones according to elevation:

  • Kolla (Tropical zone) – is below 1830 meters in elevation and has an average annual temperature of about 27 degree Celsius with annual rainfall about 510 millimeters. The Danakil Depression (Danakil Desert) is about 125 meters below sea level and the hottest region in Ethiopia where the temperature climbs up to 50 degree Celsius.
  • Woina dega (Subtropical zone) – includes the highlands areas of 1830 – 2440 meters in elevation has an average annual temperature of about 22 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 510 and 1530 millimeters.
  • Dega (Cool zone) – is above 2440 meters in elevation with an average annual temperature of about 16 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 1270 and 1280 millimeters.

The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa is 16°C (61°F), with daily maximum temperatures averaging 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F) throughout the year, and overnight lows averaging 5 – 10°C (41 – 50°F). A light jacket is recommended for the evenings, though many Ethiopians prefer to dress conservatively and will wear a light jacket even during the day.

Currency: The local currency is the Ethiopian birr, made up of 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 birr. There are five different coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.

Currency regulations: There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency imported into Ethiopia, but it must be declared on arrival, using a currency declaration form. Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form will be required by Customs on departure. Visitors may change back any excess birr into foreign currency at the airport before departure, but you must, in addition to the currency declaration form, bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.

Click here to read more about Money Matters: Cash, Currency Exchange and Credit Cards

Electricity : Ethiopia uses 220 volts and 50 Hz. It is best to bring your own round, two-prong adapter and transformer if necessary.

Time and calendar : Ethiopia uses the Ethiopian calendar, which dates back to the Coptic calendar 25 BC, and never adopted the Julian or Gregorian reforms. One Ethiopian year consists of twelve months, each lasting thirty days, plus a thirteenth month of five or six days (hence the “Thirteen Months of Sunshine” tourism slogan). The Ethiopian new year begins on September 11 or 12 during leap year (in the Gregorian calendar), and has accumulated 7-8 years lag behind the Gregorian calendar: thus, for the first eight months of , the year will be according to the Ethiopian calendar. On 11 September , Ethiopia celebrates New Year’s Day (Enkutatesh) for .

In Ethiopia, the 12-hour clock cycles do not begin at midnight and noon, but instead are offset six hours. Thus, Ethiopians refer to midnight (or noon) as 6 o’clock.

Daylight: Being relatively close to the Equator, there is an almost constant twelve hours of daylight. In Addis Ababa, the sunrise and sunset starts at around 06:30 and 18:45 respectively.

Video : Ethiopia Vacation Travel Video Guide
Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia.
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Travel – Learning – Educational Tours

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Ethiopia is a country of exceptional interest to educational and specialist groups. A tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in Africa, underlines its remarkable wealth of fascinating and often unique cultural, historical, ethnographic and paleontological sites.

Ethiopia also offers rich pickings to natural history students, thanks to the presence of many endemic and near-endemic species including Africa’s only indigenous wolf and goat.

Ethiopia is a country of exceptional interest to educational and specialist groups. A tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in Africa, underlines its remarkable wealth of fascinating and often unique cultural, historical, ethnographic and paleontological sites. Ethiopia also offers rich pickings to natural history students, thanks to the presence of many endemic and near-endemic species including Africa’s only indigenous wolf and goat.

• Historic and cultural circuits incorporate the 3,000-year-old city of Aksum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and walled Islamic city of Harar.

• Some of the world’s oldest and holiest religious sites, including several churches founded in the 4th to 6th century AD, and the oldest mosque site in Sub-Saharan Africa.

• An ethnographic diversity ranging from the Semitic-speaking Amhara and Tigray people of the northern highlands to the pastoralist Afar of the Danakil and the rich mosaic of traditional beliefs that inhabit South Omo.

• Archaeological sites include ancient palaces and pools associated with the Queen of Sheba, the towering 2,800-year-old temple at Yeha, and the world’s tallest field of stelae (obelisks) in Aksum.

• Ethiopia’s unique wealth of paleontological sites, including fossils dating back more than 5 million years, makes it the leading contender for the Cradle of Humankind.

• The world’s oldest active lava lake, the ancient white salt flats of the Danakil, mysterious crater lakes, Africa’s deepest riverine gorge and the craggy peaks of the upper Simien are among the landscapes and features that make Ethiopia fascinating to geologists.

• Endemic mammals such as the Ethiopian wolf and gelada baboon can be seen alongside a full 18 bird species of bird found nowhere else in the world, and a similar number shared only with Eritrea.

Video Ethiopia Vacation Travel Video Guide…
Ethiopia Southern Tribes Cultures Traditions and Ceremonies.