This year’s Ashenda celebration is observed in Tigray and Amhara States through staging various entertaining and informative events, Tigray and Amhara States Culture and Tourism Bureaux announced. One of the beauties of this festival is exhibition of their natural hair in amazing styles.
Ashenda is celebrating under the theme : “Let’s commence a journey of Ashenda for peace and unity” for a solid week . Ashenda is a festival to mark the end of a sixteen day fasting by Orthodox Christian “Tsome Felseta”
The Bureau Public Relations Head Ethiopia Heluf told The Ethiopian Herald that the bureau has already finished its preparations to host its guests who pay visit to Mekelle to attend the festival. She added that this year, the bureau has organized special activities that last for three days, from August 21-23. On the first day the the ceremony, Marsh band will open the event officially and a panel discussion on the historical development of Ashenda festival will be conducted.
“On the next day, accompanied with cultural songs by a group of girls who hail from different parts of the State, Ashenda Play will be staged. ”
Its very interesting as 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.
They also 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 ever 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.