Fasika “Ethiopian Easter”marks a very important interest and enthusiasm among the Christian community in Ethiopia being the last major religious festival. Believers of the Ethiopian Orthodox church await its arrival with great eager passing through a long lent period of 55 days where no animal product of meat, milk or egg shall not be consumed during this period.
One week before Easter is called “HeMamat” a time to remember the suffering, beatings, wounds and pains of Jesus. In this week, people would not laugh, kiss, joke or make any fun but try to be on strict remembrance of those troubles of the Lord.
Two days before Easter is called day of crucify and this normally falls on Friday. On this day people spend the whole time bowing down before God as much as they can bow down depending on their strength, age and health issue to clean themselves from any sin. Some do 1000 times some even more.
On the eve of Easter almost all believers shall spend the night in the church doing their last religious sacrifices. Ceremonies in the church are so colorful and bygone that one would feel to be in time past at a Jew synagogue. Priest & deacons according to their ranks with their colorful Levite looking costume will be chanting and praying all the night long. All the instruments used are very traditional ones such as the leather made drums and also the cross-shaped prayer sticks of priests.
A week after Easter is also a colorful festival called “Dagme Tinsae”, which marks the ascension of Jesus to heaven. This is also equally celebrated with the main Easter festival.
Easter is very much attractive to be attended in the historical church of the country but more usually spend in the rock-churches of Lalibela or the ancient & first church of St. Mary of Zion church in Axum.
Day 1April 6/2018 Addis Ababa –Sightseeing Addis (The new Flower)
You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. Refresh and begin your sightseeing of Addis with a drive up to mount Entoto for a panoramic view of Addis. Descend down and drive to National museum where you will have a chance to spot the oldest hominids of ‘Lucy’ fossil. Visit and proceed to the Holy Trinity built during the WWII. Then proceed to Ethnographic museum, which use to be the palace of Emperor Hailesellase. To wrap up you drive to merkato, the biggest market in East Africa. Overnight in Addis.
Day 2-April 7/2018: Lalibela-Eve Of Ethiopian Easter
In the morning you will continue your journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous past with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches. The rock-hewn churches that you will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Mercorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos. In the afternoon, you will visit one of the most colorful annual Easter Market at Lalibela. In the evening, you will witness one of the most important ceremonies of Easter in one of the biggest rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Bete Medhanialem. In the evening all the rock-hewn churches will be filled with people who have been fasting for 55 days. None of them have eaten anything at least for a day and half without any water and food. They are here to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and there will be prayers and candle light ceremonies accompanied by chanting and dancing of the priest until 3:00 in the morning. It’s only after the ceremony is over that everybody goes home to break the fasting with the special Easter meal and the feast which has begun at the church continues all day long and the weeks to come.
Overnight stay in Lalibela
Day 3-April 8/2018: Lalibela- Axum (30 min) (Mysterious Monolithes)
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Axum. A city more than 2500 years of history, once the center of a great empire and ancient civilization, home of the original Ark of covenants, Axum is the prime historical site in the north of Ethiopia. Take a city tour that include the St. Mary’s Church, the sanctuary Chapel which is the repository of the ‘Ark of covenant’, the coronation yard, Stelae Park, Tomb of Kaleb and his son Gebre Meskel, Ezana’s Inscriptions, Queen of Sheba’s Bath, Queen of Sheba’s palace ruins and Axum Museum. Overnight in Axum.
Day 4-April 9/2018: Axum- Simen Mountain
After having our early breakfast we will be driving to Semein Mountain. This is a sight, which is termed as the most wild and magnificent view all Ethiopian landscapes. The Semien Mountains National park is the only place in Ethiopia registered by the UNESCO as a natural beauty. Observe the magnificent scenery. Overnight in Debarq
Day 5-April 10/2018: Drive Debarq – Gondar (The Camelot of Africa)
After having your breakfast, you will begin your journey to Gondar. The Royal Capital of Ethiopia, Gondar was founded in 1636 by Emperor Fassiladas. In the afternoon you will visit the city of Gondar with the drive to the Castles and Churches built by Emperor Fassiladas and his descendants. Proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie (The Enlightening of Trinity) with Wonderful murals art, Qusquam Church.
Overnight in Gondar.
Day 6-April 11/2018: Bahir Dar –Addis Ababa
After breakfast, you will take a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 14th century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret which is the most famous of the Zege peninsula monasteries. later you will be transferred to the airport to couch up your flight to Addis Ababa Overnight in Addis Ababa.
Day 7 –April 12/Addis Ababa-Awassa
After breakfast we will be driving to the airport to couch up our flight to Addis on arrival we will be driving to Awassa on the way we will have a stopover at lake Ziway(the deepest lake of rift valley) then we will be stopping at Lkae Langano for beach walk and swimming then continue our journey to the lake side town of Awassa.
Overnight: Lewi Resort Awassa
Day 8-April 13/Awassa- Arba Minch
This day early In the morning after breakfast, you will visit the fish markets in the lake Awassa then you will have a boat ride trip on lake Awassa to see the Hippos and some lake birds and Alligators. Later you will be driving to the Dorze Village Doreze village who are expert in weaving called Shammas. The shape of their house looks Elephant, in order to remember the existence of these animals around the area many years ago. Enset “fake banana” is the stable food for these peoples.
Overnight in Paradise Lodge Arba Minch.
Day 9–April 14/Arba Minch-Turmi
In the morning you will have a safari at Lake Chamo Nech SAR National Parks and you will have a chance of seeing Zebras, Swaines Heart Beest, Monkeys, Hippos, Crocodile and different birds then drive to Konso for lunch later you will visit the Konso terracing and the amazing villages of Konso peoples. Drive Konso to Turmi on the way we will see the villages of Benna,Tsemay tribes and later after we arrive in the town of Turmi we will be visiting the tribes of Hammer and overnight will be at Turmi Lodge.
Day 10-April 15Turmi-Omorate-Jinka
After having your breakfast, you will have an excursion to Omorate to visit the Dassanech people ‘people of the Delta’, who lives on the northern shore of Lake Turkana. Visit and drive back to Jinka for lunch we will be driving to Mursi village to see the Mursi tribes back to Jinka resort overnight
Day 11-April 16 Jinka-Welayta Sodo
Early in the morning we will visit the villages of Ari Tribes and we will have a chance of seeing how they are making pottery and weaving later we will be driving to the town of Welayta Sodo for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 –April 17Welayta Sodo- Addis Ababa-Departure
In the morning we will be driving to Addis Ababa on the way we will see the UNESCO site of Tiya stlea then we will be driving to the Rock Hewan Churches of Adadi Maryam(a church built by st Lalibela) continue our driving to Addis Ababa Descend down and drive to National museum where you will have a chance to spot the oldest hominids of ‘Lucy’ fossil. Visit and proceed to the Holy Trinity built during the WWII. Then proceed to merkato, the biggest market in East Africa. In the evening attend a folkloric dinner where you will have a chance to taste several national dishes and watch dances of the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia. The traditional coffee ceremony will also be served. Later you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.