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Tuesday 21 October  
Bole Medhani Alem Church, Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Photo report: Ethiopian Orthodox Easter

Published on : 16 April 2012 - 3:18pm | By Floris Dogterom (Photo: Borja Santos)
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In Orthodox theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are much more significant than his birth. Therefore, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Fasika (Amharic for ‘Easter’) is the most important festival of the year.

In the weeks before the festival, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians go on a fast. After a long church service the night before, the fast is broken in the early hours of Easter Sunday. The faithful wear traditional white garments and carry candles.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant religious community in Ethiopia (44 percent of the population), with Islam coming second with 34 percent. The Church has around 45 million members worldwide, the overwhelming majority of whom live in Ethiopia.

  • Bole Medhani Alem Church, Addis Ababa<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Bole Medhani Alem Church, Addis Ababa<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Bole Medhani Alem Church, Addis Ababa<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Some Ethiopians wear a cross-shaped scarification as a symbol of their Christian beliefs<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Visit to the hairdresser in preparation for Easter<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Negist wearing her best clothes for Easter<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Preparing the meat<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Terhas dressed for Easter lunch<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -
  • Every Ethiopian festival ends with a coffee ceremony<br>&copy; Photo: Borja Santos -



Brian 25 May 2012 - 2:05pm / USA

Amen, As a Latin catholic, my Greek Orthodox Brothers and sisters celebrate in the same way. We have a LONG mass on the Vigil(the night before Sunday) which starts at sundown.At my Parish Basilica in Baltimore, it lasts til about 11pm-12am. And as a husband to an Ethiopian orthodox wife, we have learned that we are all Christians and our cultural and Ethnic differences is the only thing that separates us. Other than that We say the Nicene creed the same, the Ave Maria's(Mariam) and the Lords prayer(Abata Chin Hoy). As we study these differences we are really studying similarities. I found that we have more in common than not. SO you see we are all shaped by our environments, culture, and family. But please know that there is a world outside of Ethiopia, just like the USA is NOT the center of the world.

Yours in Christ,


Anonymous 17 April 2012 - 7:40am

it is only for orthodox, the others r dancers.

eyob 16 April 2012 - 6:55pm

Anonymous, Ethiopian Fasika (Easter) is a truly Ethiopian Orthodox Christians Holiday. When the rest of the world talks about religious Holidays in Ethiopia, they are refering to the true Ethiopian Church of the past 2000 years. They know how the Protestants or the Catholics celebrate it. So, if you are not one of them, join them in prayers and fasting and may be then you feel you belong to your beloved Ethiopia and her Church of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Enkuan Le Berhane Tensew Beslam aderesewo.

Anonymous 16 April 2012 - 3:38pm

Ethiopian Easter is not only for Orthodox Christians, we all Christians including Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants and other evangelical and Pentecostal Christians celebrates yearly to remember His sacrifices for our sin

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