Dressed in colorful cultural styles, and gathering around the lake Hora Arsadi, in Bishoftu (Debrezeit), the culturally rich Oromo people represented from different regions, religions and ethnic communities, celebrate one of Ethiopia’s most important intangible cultural heritage, Irecha. Irecha, in Oromiffa, means Thanksgiving Day to their ‘Waqa’ or God. It originated among the Blue Nile bound Cushitic people of Oromo for thousands of years. This festivity is celebrated on last Sunday of September every year.

Led by the prominent figure in the community Abba Gadda, the participating communities carry bunches of lovely grasses and flowers in their hands- praise bless and prey to God (Waqaa). The participating women dress cultural dresses and carry Siiqee (Cultural women stick) and men dresses in cultural suits and carrying Aroresaa(Cultural men’s stick) heart fully sings the songs that glorify the power of God and the decoration of the season. Young people usually use the opportunity to select their girl mate and exchange gift. On the festival Aba Gadaas, community leaders and folks share their produces and address thanks to Waqa for the blessed transition from the rainy season to the bright and colorful Birra season.

Despite the fact that this historic holiday was given little or no attention during successive former Ethiopian rulers, it has regained over the past two decades. Since then it started dramatically spreading and regaining its lost position. These days, millions of pilgrimages attend the sacred Oromo wisdom traditional holiday celebration, especially, at Hora. Oromos of all region and religion took part in Irecha festival as ‘Waqaa’ embraces people of different religion and beliefs and that its core principles have no contradiction with “Ten Commandments.”

The celebration is a unique one for Gada System is close to registration on the UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

My Choice Ethiopia Tour organizes tailored and custom made tours, shared vehicle transport, booking and related services to the most popular venues of the celebration. Contact us at marketing@mychoiceethiopiatour.com or just call us +251 941 616561.

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