TRAVEL ADVISORY: See updates and precautionary measures for Covid-19 in Ethiopia here.

Ethiopian Christmas (Leddet/Genna) (7th January)

Appearing at Genna in Ethiopia is a unique opportunity to celebrate Christmas two times a year as the festival is held one week later of the Gregorian calendar. As the day is primarily a commemoration day of Jesus Christ’s birthday, the celebration is mostly a religious undertaking in various parishes.  The actual Genna celebration is preceded by a night-long Vigil following 43 days of fasting where meat, egg, and dairy products are forbidden. Genna is mainly a family-oriented holiday and people in the countryside still maintain the tradition of playing Yegenna Chewata, a hockey-like game, following the prior evening’s service. Yegenna Chewata, according to tradition, is believed to have been played by the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. The perfect venue to spot this vibrant festival is Lalibela; as the day is also the birthday of St. King Lalibela who orchestrated the stellar rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.