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FICHEE-CHAMBALAALLA 

Fich chembellala
Inscribed in 2015 Fichee-Chambalaalla is a New Year festival celebrated among the Sidama people. According to the oral tradition, Fichee commemorates a Sidama woman who visited her parents and relatives once a year after her marriage, bringing ''buurisame'', a meal prepared from false banana, milk and butter, which was shared with neighbours. Fichee has since become a unifying symbol of the Sidama people. Each year, astrologers determine the correct date for the festival, which is then announced to the clans. Communal events take place throughout the festival, including traditional songs and dances. Every member participates irrespective of age, gender and social status. On the first day, children go from house to house to greet their neighbours, who serve them ''buurisame''. During the festival, clan leaders advise the Sidama people to work hard, respect and support the elders, and abstain from cutting down indigenous trees, begging, indolence, false testimony and theft. The festival therefore enhances equity, good governance, social cohesion, peaceful co-existence and integration among Sidama clans and the diverse ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Parents transmit the tradition to their children orally and through participation in events during the celebration. Women in particular, transfer knowledge and skills associated with hairdressing and preparation of ''buurisame'' to their daughters and other girls in their respective villages.

ASHEND

Ashenda
Ashenda is a unique Tigraian traditional festival which takes place in August to mark the ending of fasting called filseta. This event is mostly for girls and young women, which they await very eagerly every year. It is unique to the people in the state of Tigrai in northern Ethiopia. The name of the festival "Ashenda" comes from the name of a tall grass that the girls make in to a skirt and ware it around their waist as a decoration.The young women and girls dress the best traditional dresses called tilfi which is a cotton dress decorated with amazing embroidery from the neck to toe in front of the dress. The girls also adorned themselves with array of beautiful jewelry.After they gather in the village or city center they divide in to small groups and they go house to house singing and playing their drums. They stop at every house and sing and dance for the people in the houses. It is customary for people to give them money, food and drinks and other items for their efforts. They continue the whole day going from house to house and occasionally stopping in a village or city center and singing and dancing for a while before they go on again on their tour.A week or so after the celebrations started, the event comes to an end with all the girls from the village or the town coming together in the center of the town or a village singing and dancing until sun down. This time the young boys join in more like spectators than active players.

IRREECHA

irrecha
Irreecha is part of the Gadaa System that served as the basis of democratic and egalitarian political system among the Oromos , a thanksgiving day that comprises two distinct festivals observed on top of mountains and on the banks of rivers, is the most colorful and very attractive celebration the Oromo people mark for the glory of their creator (Waaqa).The Irreecha festival which constitutes the main part of the Gadaa system of the Oromo is serving as a symbol of the Oromo people’s identity from time immemorial.  Gadaa is the traditional social stratification system of Oromos in Ethiopia and northern Kenya; it is also practiced by the Gedeo people of southern Ethiopia. The festival which attracts millions of people from all walks of life here and abroad celebrated to thank, bless and pray to God (Waaqa) for their achievements and their wishes for peaceful relationship between nature and man. They plead to God for the health of their families, relatives, clan and their country as well as their livestock.The Oromo people celebrate Irreecha at two locations: at mountain tops (Tulluu) and at the bank of rivers (Malkaa). The observance of the two festivals mark seasonal shift, either from winter to spring or spring to winter.

IRREECHA TULLU
The IrreechaTullu, an annual festival observed in May at the top of mountains to mark the end of the dry season and the onset of the rainy season.On this day, people gather on mountain tops to give thanks to the almighty Waaqaa (God) for all the blessings bestowed upon them throughout the past dry season and ask for reconciliation, peace and harmony for the present and the future.It’s believed it has beencelebrated  for more than 6400 years, is the time when the Oromo people are gathered to bless and pray to their creator to give them rain so that their cattle will get water and grass.The ceremony kick starts with a call from elders (mangudo) from different places to meet each other in solitary place known for its moisturizing springs and pastures.

IRRECHA MALKAA
This Irrecha practice takes place at the banks of rivers immediately following the end of the rainy season and it is celebrated in September when the rainy season subsides giving way for spring (Birraa).The Oromo people celebrate IrreechaaMalkaa not only to thank Waaqaa (God) for the blessings and mercies they have received throughout the previous year but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the rainy season.This festival is a conspicuous and eye-catching special season heralding full hope and better life during the shining and bright season (Birraa).Observed in the month of September following the end of the dark rainy season, Irrecha marks a seasonal shift, a transition from gloomy and muddy rainy season, to the bright spring colored with daises-like flowers (adeyabeba),held at Hora Arsadi (Lake Harsadi) located at Bishoftu, in Oromia region, 47.9 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, on the main road to Adama.The festival also known as spring holiday (AyyaanaBirra) is a unique and sparkling occasion in which families, relatives, clans and their close friends remained in distance by rivers and flood that prevailed during the rainy season get together. Families meet their loved ones and share greetings and seasonal best wishes which is sometimes accompanies with exchange of special gifts (kennaaaddaa).The special day also marks the opening of a traditional court season (Xaddachaa Saaquu). This is so because the benches of the traditional courts will not be in session during the rainy season that extends from June to September.  Participants attired with their colorful traditional out fits which depict their culture, identity and age group, start flood the place where the festival is observed early in the morning.During the actual date of the celebrations, Abba Gadaas, heads of Gadaa system, a traditional social stratification system of Oromos, moderate the processes involved in the ceremonies to be conducted at specified time and location. More than four million spectators and participants converge on the annual event of Irreecha irrespective of their religious orientation and racial, gender and world outlook. The Abba Gadaa leads the ceremony by carrying a bouquet of fresh grasses and flowers in their hands blessing their God for his benevolence. They carry a traditional and ceremonial staff while the women holding the same fresh grasses and flowers including decorated cultural embroiders made of beads and cultural canes in their hands sing a traditional song. The Abba Gadaa humbly requests three rounds of permission from the participating crowd to bestow the annual blessing on the spectators.

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