Festivals

Ethiopian Easter(Fasika) Festival

Ethiopian Easter(Fasika) Festival

EASTER, the feast of feasts, is celebrated with special solemnity. The church is filled with fragrance of incense and myriad’s of lights. The clergy are arrayed in their best vestments. All the people hold lighted tapers. Greetings are exchanged, drums are beaten, hands are clapped and singing is heard everywhere: “our resurrection has come, hosanna.” Men are heard saying “O Lord Christ have mercy upon us.” They pray for a blessing “O God make it to be a festival of our good fortune and of our well being! Let us have another threshing floor and another year if thou wilt.”

The ceremony starts on Good Friday. Pilgrims dressed in white fill the churches, praying, resting, and listening to the priests. There is a spiritual solemnity to the events, as priests and deacons chant for many hours to the rhythmic jingling of sistrums and beating of drums. Some of the devout pilgrims around you had their ’Last Supper’ on Thursday evening and will not be eating or drinking anything until Sunday morning. They’re physically weak, and rest or sleep within the churches in between praying.

In Lalibela, Fasika is celebrated in every church, and as a visitor you can move from one church to another. In their white shawls, the pilgrims move from church to church themselves, bowing a certain number of times in each one depending on the promises they made to God in exchange for answering specific prayers.

The ceremonies culminate with a mass in the early hours of Sunday morning. In the dark, you sit on the stone walls above the rock-hewn Beta Mariam, where the largest collection of priests and congregation is gathered. You light candles and clap to the devotional music, looking down on the several hundred priests and deacons participating in the rituals below. It is rhythmic, mesmeric and beautiful.

You can break fast with your guide’s family or enjoy a special Easter breakfast of eggs and spicy chicken in your hotel. Alternatively you join your guide for a traditional Easter lunch in his home.

Related Tours


 Easter tour

Ethiopian Easter Festival 9 Days Tour

Join us on this trip of discovery as we witness an ancient way of celebrating Easter and explore the world of the ancient Ethiopians. Step back in time and celebrate Easter the way it has been performed for centuries

Ethiopian Holiday

Ethiopian Epiphany(Timket) Festival 9 Days Tour

Ethiopian Timket Festival Tour — 9 Days. On this tour, you will see one of the most ancient festivals celebrated in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Festivals

Festival of Timket 3 Days

Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany), which falls on the 19th of January is the day when Christians celebrate the baptism of Christ. It's a three-day festival