Ethiopian Easter

7 Things you MUST know about Ethiopia!

(4 things about easter below)

1.  Traffic in the capital city (Addis Ababa—where we will be) is as rambunctious as a Kindergarten class room with no teacher.  People of all ages, animals of all sizes, and vehicles running to all locations flood the streets at all times.  WATCH THIS VIDEO and see the future Millar lifestyle.

2.  There are over 80 different languages spoken in Ethiopia. The most widely spoken of these are Oromo and Amharic. Luckily for foreigners like us, English and Arabic are also widely spoken.

3.  Ethiopian children must learn both their tribal language and the country’s official language of Amharic. Not only that but they must also have a good grasp of English by the time they start secondary school. From the age of 12 onwards, many school lessons are carried out in English.

4.  The Ethiopian smile is on average 1/3 larger than the average American smile.  This could be due to larger mouths or it could be because I just made that statistic up and just glad you are still reading (smile).  

5.  Ethiopia is one of only two nations in the world never to have been occupied. The Italians tried twice and failed to take the country. In case you were wondering, Russia is the other country.

6.  Addis Ababa is the home of the African Union, headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and, at an altitude of 2450 meters, the worlds fourth highest capital city. Its name translates to ‘New Flower’ in Amharic.

7.  In the past two years, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa and has become recognized for its geothermal energy potential

4 Ethiopian Easter Traditions to Celebrate!

1.  On Easter Eve, Ethiopian Christians participate in an hours-long (longer than 7, less than 20) church service that ends at around 4 a.m., It is at this point the fast is broken  and the celebration begins…with eating and quickly followed by sleep. 

2.  During Ethiopian holidays, Everyone will eat a huge special sourdough bread called Dabo. They bake enough to offer a slice to everybody who visits the house.  If you ever visit my house, there will be celebration and there will be bread*.

3.  Before the Easter celebration season, Families will fast from meat (Vegans are typically happiest during this time).  When the fasting is over, families will get together early in the morning to eat Doro wot (a specialty spiced chicken dish—my Grandma makes a mean Doro) After eating chicken, everyone will come together and slaughter an ox for lunch.  Each family and friend will take turns to host the meals for the next several days.  

4.  The Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter anywhere from one to two weeks after the US does. 

Statistics taken from: