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Ethiopian and Rastafarian Holy Days and Holidays
January 3rd
Mawlid al-Nabi
(Birth of the Prophet)
January 7th
Ethiopian Christmas
Rastafarians observe this as a holiday.
January 19th

January 20th
in a leap year
Timket (Epiphany)
Timket is a religious festival celebrated with much zeal in Addis Ababa, Gondar, and
Lalibela in Ethiopia. It is also spelled as Timkat or Timqat. The festival is the Ethiopian
Orthodox celebration of Epiphany and venerates Christ's baptism in the River Jordan.
Although the festival is observed by orthodox Christians all over the world, in Ethiopia
it takes on a special significance as it is the most colourful event of the year in the
country. The most relevant symbol of the festival is colourful embroidered umbrellas
that protect the sacred Tabot and the priests carrying the Tabot.

In the United States of America on this day in 1865 is when the last African slaves
were notified of our freedom decreed by the Emancipation Proclamation signed by
Abraham Lincoln on January 3, 1863.  Primarily due to rebellious slave owners, it took
2 and 1/2 years, after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, for slaves in
Texas to be notified that we actually obtained our freedom 2 and 1/2 years earlier.  
This day memorializes the day that our Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Aunts and
Uncles gained freedom.
March 1
Victory of Adwa

JAH Bless all Your warriors who triumphantly gave their lives so we are here today!

Source: Michael Clarke ~ FB post ~ 1 Mar 2020, 10:11
God, in his bounty, has struck down my enemies and enlarged my Empire and
preserved me to this day,’ he declared. ‘I have reigned by the grace of God….Enemies
have come who would ruin our country and change our religion. They have passed
beyond the sea which God gave us as our frontier…
Emeye Menelik II

Source: Michael Clarke ~ FB post ~ 1 Mar 2020, 18:59
The Battle of Adwa sends an ever resounding message to those who impertinently
think they are superior to Ethiopians; believe that they can attempt to invade and
possess our ancestral homelands; and envision the fantasy that they can rule over
Ethiopians. No more, we won't stand for it. The Battle of Adwa took place shortly (12
yrs) after the Berlin Conference of 1884, when Caucasians under the leadership of Otto
von Bismarck of Germany, went on their racist pursuit of Africa's conquest. At that
meeting, the so-called western powers of Europe, who had already done the most
inhumane, atrocious, wickedness to Africans, were now on the "march" to divide the
entire continent amongst themselves as their possessions. Their colonies. The action
was initiated by those attending the conference, and Italy was given Ethiopia, the prize.

For some time up until 1896, the Italians had been encroaching on Ethiopian
territories and several shepherds had informed Emperor Menelik II of their illegal
intrusions. Emperor Menelik II had an array of brave and competent leaders around
him who strategized Ethiopia's defenses, and Her eventual victory. One notable
warrior was Ras Makonnen the father of the future Emperor Qedamawee
Hayile Selase, who was only 2 years old at the time of the invasion. The brave
Ethiopians knew exactly what was at stake: their independence, their culture, their
land, their freedom, their dignity, their children's future, everything, just EVERYTHING.
The Ethiopians were not about to let this be. No man is BEFORE the Ethiopian, and
most certainly no race is superior to the Ethiopian. This intrusion was one of many
which Africa faced, but it is the only one where the European's aggression was met
with ferocity and tactics which sent Caucasians fleeing in many directions.

The Italians were surprised by the relentless resistance of the Ethiopians, plus they
had undermined the firepower which the Ethiopians possessed. Although far from
being new, Ethiopia had several modern weapons which were left back by the British
general Napier after his attack upon Emperor Theodore at Magdala. The weapons
which included about four machine guns were in fairly decent condition, and they
were placed at strategic locations. The enemy also had difficulty maneuvering through
the Mountains of Zion. The altitude and vegetation were bothersome to the invaders.
Today we commemorate this enormously great victory and sing the praises of our
brave and courageous ancestors.

Long Live March 1! Long Live the Battle of Adwa! Long Live Ethiopia! Long Live her
Gallant Sons and Dawtas at Her Defense! Long Live Qedamawee Hayile Selase!
��Black Heart��.

Source: Michael Clarke ~ FB post ~ 1 Mar 2020, 19:00
March 8
Wombmen's Day
Happy March 8, International Women’s Day!

We celebrate International Women's Day because it is a Day for all of us. Particularly,
the day is unique for us, Ethiopians, as we are standing on the price that our mothers
had paid. When we say Ethiopia is a country that has lived being feared and revered,
we mean that there were and are mothers and sisters that made her be feared and

Our mothers and sisters had paid the price on four fronts for Ethiopia to firmly abide
in liberty. They created heroes and made rations suit for heroes. They had taken care
of the heroes. They had themselves fought bravely and prevailed. Our mothers and
sisters are the ones who created heroes/heroines for this country through telling their
children stories of courage, teaching them the dignity found in being a sacrifice for
one's country, emboldening them not to fear and through praising heroes/heroines.
God made Ethiopians. Our mothers and sisters made heroes/heroines out of

Our mothers and sisters deploy heroes by preparing rations and armaments. Apart
from that, they prepare rations and armaments by being a rear at battles. There is no
Ethiopian victory recorded that had no rear support of our mothers and sisters. On top
of preparing rations, and armaments for the army fighting, they treat and take care of
wounded soldiers. They bury the dead. Moreover, they take arms, gird their loins and
involve in fights. They lead and deploy army; they also fight and defeat the enemy.

Such mothers and sisters do exist today. They are unique gifts of this country. As long
as these mothers and sisters are, the country will continue to give birth to
heroes/heroines. They will guard the dignity of Ethiopia in all fields, everywhere, in
whatsoever circumstances and in any challenging time. They had seen their mothers
favoring their children above themselves. So, their children would favor their country
above themselves. Our mothers and sisters know that war hurts women most. That is
why they always prioritize peace, forgiveness, and love. If there is anyone that
trespasses these, they tell him/her 'see you at the front'.

I believe that the country that our mothers fought for in four fronts and made it be
revered, will also be able to abide in dignity by defeating its four enemies: poverty,
backwardness, division, and conflict. As we celebrate March 8, I hope that it will be a
day in which our mothers and sisters will be revived again to make Ethiopia continue
to live in dignity and freedom with its multinational unity and sovereignty intact.

Honor shall be to the mothers and sisters that have been protecting the freedom and
sovereignty of Ethiopia in all fields they involved in!
Abiy Ahmed Ali

Source: Aira Genesis ~ FB post ~ 7 Mar 2020
May 5
(27 Miyaza)
Fasika (Passover)
(Patriots Victory Day)
This day represents a major Holy Day with service starting at 11am.  After service,
family day celebration starts with the playing of Rasta Music (e.g., Reggae) with eating
of Corn bread, vegetables, and drinking of Wine, closing with a prayer from the Priest.
May 28
Downfall of the Dergue
July 16th
Constitution Day
This day represents a holiday.  On this day in 1931 Ethiopia was given it's first written
Constitution and the holiday is observed annually.

July 23
(16 Hamle)
Birthday of Tafari
In the year of John 16th of Hamle 1884 = July 23rd 1892 the birth of ‘Tafari' in Harar,
Ethiopia.  Rastalogy accepts this day as the Second Advent of the Cosmic Christ,
fulfilling Isaiah Chapter 9v6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is giving,

This day represents a major
Holy Day; celebrated as a family day with a short prayer
service giving thanks to Yahweh, for the birth of His Son, Tafari.  Service starts 11am,
followed by a celebration consisting of Rasta music and food.
July 28
Eid al-Fitr
(End of Ramadan)
Ethiopian New Year
This day represents a holiday, which is, observed with a short Prayer Service starting
Finding of the True Cross
Meskel, the feast commemorating the Finding of the True Cross Celebrated on
Meskerem 17 Ethiopian Calendar (E.C.) / September 27 Gregorian Calendar(G.C.), in

Meskel is an ancient seasonal rite, which has is an integral part of the Ethiopian
Orthodox Calendar. This national holiday has been celebrated throughout Ethiopia for
centuries and is one of the most important annual festivals. The 26th September is the
eve of Meskel, a feast commemorating the Finding of the True Cross.

By the middle of the afternoon the celebrations start. Many are seen wearing their
brilliant white Ethiopian costumes. The occasion takes place at the Meskel square in
Addis Ababa, near the church of Saint Estifanos. A colour procession of priests,
deacons and choir boys and girls of Sunday schools wearing embroidered robes walk
around a huge pyre, bearing ceremonial crosses and wooden torches decorated with
olive leaves. As the sun begins to set, the torch-bearers move forward in unison to set
alight the slender pyramid-shaped structure, topped with a cross made from the
yellow flowers known as Meskel daisies which are placed on the tallest central pole.

The crowd of spectators are kept at bay while visitors are allowed to enter the inner
circle in accordance with the Ethiopians age-old tradition of hospitality. The casually
dressed tourists form an incongruous contrast as they brandish their cameras, while
around them the procession of proud clergy clad in dazzling ceremonial robes chant as
they perform this ancient rite.

The origins of the celebration are expressed in the Ethiopian manuscript of
parchment. It is said to date back to the discovery of the Byzantine Queen of Helena of
the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. According to the manuscript, in the 20th
year of the reign of her son Constantine, she set off for Jerusalem in search of the ‘life
giving cross,’ which she eventually found after many trials and tribulations. She is said
to have forced the Jews to reveal the whereabouts of this ‘Honourable Cross’, which
allegedly lay under the hill of Golgotha, formed from sweepings, ashes and offal piled
on the grave of Jesus Christ.

Helena is said to have found the Cross by lighting incense and following the smoke as
it descended to earth. She caused bonfires to be lit on the hills of Palestine which
could be seen across the sea by the people of Constantinople.

So how did the rediscovered cross come to Ethiopia? Well, it is said, The Christian
Kings of Ethiopia were often called upon in the early Middle Ages to protect Egyptian
Copts against the Egyptian Muslims. In return for this delivery from Muslim
persecution, fabulous gifts of precious gold were offered to Ethiopian Emperor Dawit.
He rejected these offerings and asked instead for four pieces of the True Cross, which
were under the custody of the patriarch of Alexandria. The request was granted and
the pieces brought to Ethiopia. They were guarded on the journey by torchbearers and
then deposited in a church at Gishen, in northern Wollo dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Rejoicing followed throughout the whole country and the Emperor ordered that the
capes of the priests be embroidered with flowers. Since that day, Ethiopian Christians
are believed to have commemorated the occasion with flaming torches and huge

Emperor Dawit’s fourth son, Zara Yacob, succeeded him as Emperor and, when he was
a very old man, dreamt that God ordered him to ‘place the cross upon a cross.’ Zara
Yacob spent two years in abstinence, searching in seclusion, and at last discovered a
mountain shaped like a cross. There he built the beautiful church of Egziabher Ab, and
a fragment of the True Cross was kept within a gold box in the church. The priests of
Gishen still safeguard this treasure along with the Tefut which is handwritten in Ge’ez
on beautiful parchment.

Meskel is a religious and joyful annual social occasion that Christians throughout the
country look forward to each year. Both women and men wear their national clothes,
while youths boast and compete in fights with sticks. There is also jesting as well as
flirting and courting sanctioned by the festival. These days, people return from the
capital parade to their houses and bring the torches called Chibbo, to neighbourhood
bonfire gatherings. The torchbearers chant as they circle the pyre, the Damera,
(literally stack or pile of wooden torches), which are covered with cloth until a priest
blesses it. The torchbearers then hurl their flames into the midst of the Dameras, while
the gathering watches the blaze light up the night sky.

On the following day people go to the bonfire and make the sign of the cross on their
foreheads with the ash.

Source: Tsega Tekle Haimanot ~ FB post ~ 24 Sep 2019
October 4
Eid-al Adha
October 7
Negus Day
(Divine Kingship of
This day represents a Holy Day.  On this day in 1928, Rastafari was acclaimed ‘Negus’,
King of Ethiopia, fulfilling Isaiah 43v15, “I am the Lord Rastafari your Holy One,
Creator of Israel, your King.”.  

This day is celebrated quietly with short Prayer Service starting at 11am.
November 2
(2 Tikimt)
Transfiguration Day
Transfiguration Day Service and Celebration

November 2nd 1930 –  This represents the Transfiguration Day of Ras Tafari to Haile
Selassie I, ‘Might of the Trinity’; fulfilling Revelation 5v5:

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals

This day represents the
Holy Day when Rastafari was acclaimed ‘Negus Nagast’ King
of kings of Ethiopia; fulfilling Isaiah 43v15:

“I am the LORD
Rastafari, your Holy One,  Creator of Israel, your King.”

This day is celebrated quietly with a short Prayer Service starting 11am.  Then
celebrate with Rasta music, rice and peas, vegetables, fish, and closing with a short
Prayer of thanksgiving and blessing by the Priest in-charge.

We invite the Rastafarian Community and all those who
Love Justice and Hate Aggression!
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