Easter traditions in Ethiopia

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The Ethiopian Easter festival is called Fassika. This festival celebrates the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being crucified.

Palm Sunday or Hosaina happens the Sunday before Easter. This day marks the beginning of Holy Week and celebrates the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Ethiopians wear headbands of palm leaves on this day to remind them of the palm leaves that were laid in Jesus' path.

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The period before Easter Sunday is called Lent. During lent, Ethiopian Christians avoid any animal products, such as meat, eggs, butter, milk, yoghurt, cream and cheese. After they have been to the Easter Eve service the family returns home to break their fast and later in the afternoon, they share the main celebratory meal of the day.

At the Easter service all Ethiopians wear a traditional white clothes, called yabesha libs.

During all their holidays, Ethiopians eat a huge special sourdough bread called Dabo. They bake enough to offer a slice to everybody who visits the house. On Easter morning, the bread should be cut, after saying a prayer, by a priest or by the main man of the house.