Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter in Ethiopia

EASTER in Ethiopia
Elder Ferrara:  "They do a 40 day fast here and then they break it on Easter. Also their fasting is different. It is only dairy and meat products. Kind of interesting. Most of there holidays they usually just have the whole family over and have traditional food. There are some particular foods that they only usually make on holidays. "
From the internet: 
BAHIR DAR, ETHIOPIA – In Ethiopia, Easter is one of the most important religious festivals of the whole year, signified by the 53 days of fasting that precedes Easter Day itself. During this time, members of the Coptic Christian Church in Ethiopia refrain from eating meat and dairy products and some also fast from alcohol. So coffee is taken black, toast is eaten dry and main meals are made up of grains, pulses and vegetables. Fortunately, the national dish, injera, which is made from teff, a millet-like substance, can easily be eaten with vegetable sauces.
The Sunday before Easter is of course, Palm Sunday, or Hosanna, the day in which Jesus traditionally is said to have ridden into Jerusalem over a carpet of palm leaves thrown by the people. As in other Catholic churches, palm leaves are given out to the congregation and in Ethiopia some of the more devout Christians fashion these leaves into a crown, which they wear until Easter Sunday, as a symbolic crown of thorns.
On Good Friday, which is a public holiday in Ethiopia, the churches are packed with people, many standing outside listening to the amplified voice of the priest. A few go to church on Thursday, the night of the ‘Last Supper’ and remain there until Sunday, maintaining a vigil over a symbolic tomb of Christ. On Easter eve, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, church services begin at 7.00 p.m. in the evening and continue until three or four in the morning. Then the worshipers go home and break the fast, either starting their feast or, after sleeping for a few hours, beginning their feast on the following day.

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