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Happy Genna "Ethiopian Christmas" To All Ethiopians. Ethiopian Christmas is Held On 7th January

Lidet or Genna is the Ethiopian name for Christmas and is marked by special ceremonies.

ADDIS ABABA-- Ethiopian Christmas, which is celebrated on the 7th January, is called Ledet or Genna which comes from the word Gennana, meaning “imminent” and which expresses the coming of the Lord and the freeing of mankind from sin. More than half of Ethiopia's population is Orthodox Christian. The celebration occurs on January 7th preceded by fast for 40 days.

While the Gregorian calendar celebrates Christmas on the 25th of December, Ethiopia still retains the ancient Julian calendar in which Christmas falls on January 7th (of the Gregorian calendar.) Genna is also the name given to a hockey-like ball game. Legend has it that when shepherds heard of the birth of Christ they rejoiced and started playing the game with their sticks. Men and boys in villages now play the traditional Genna game with great enthusiasm in the late afternoon of Christmas day, a spectacle much enjoyed by village communities and the elders who referee the game.

 

 

 

 

Genna festivities begin early in the day, as early as 6:00am. when folks gather in churches for mass. The clergy begin their Genna preperations 43 days earlier with the fasting period leading up to Genna. The pensive fasting period is required of the clergy and is known as the fast of the prophets.

Following the church services started on the eve of the main holiday, festivities continue with people enjoying special foods and drinks, as well as visiting and exchanging seasonal greetings with friends, neighbors, and relatives.Other activities include activities such as horse racing and authentic folk dancing. At Lalibela, Genna is celebrated in very attractive ways due to the birth date of King Lalibela being on a similar day. In the rural areas a popular game which looks like European Hockey but is typically Ethiopian is conducted between two youth teams. The game is named after the festival and is called "Yegena Chewata". Genna festivities begin early in the day, as early as 6:00am when people gather in churches for mass. For the clergy it has begun much earlier, 43 days before, with the fasting period leading up to Genna. This pensive fasting period is required of the clergy and is known as the fast of the prophets. The fast of Advent is carried out to cleanse the body and soul in preparation for the day of the birth of Christ.

 

 

 

Ethiopia christmas is more unique in rural areas than in the cities and it is celebrated seriously by a church service that goes on throughout the night, with people moving from one church to another.

 

It is quietly shared and celebrated in groups of friends and family. Gift giving is a very small part of Christmas festivities in Ethiopia and only small gifts are exchanged among family and friends at home. The festive mood usually continues until the late hours of the evening. The joy of giving and sharing, extends beyond religious beliefs and spreads the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind throughout the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa Team

 

 

Tags:Happy Genna "Ethiopian Christmas" To All Ethiopians. Ethiopian Christmas is Held On 7th January
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