Ashenda Festival is a festival celebrated in August in the Ethiopian regions of Tigray and Northern Amhara. In this ceremony there will be great traditional songs sung by girls coming from all over the villages and they will be wearing Ashenda. Ashenda is a Tigrinya word meaning “tall green grass”, estimated at around 80–90 cm minimum height on top of their traditional dresses which makes the celebration even more colorful. This cultural festivity was originated from two historical legends that occurred in different periods. These were;
- The death of Jehphttah’s son by her father as an offer to the god of Israel in the Old Testament and
- The death and reincarnation of Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus) in the New Testament
Aug 23: Arrival – Sightseeing Addis
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.
Aug 24: Fly Addis – Mekele
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mekele. Be met upon arrival and drive to Hawzen visiting en route the semi rock-hewn church of Wukro Cherkos. Then Abraha Atsbeha, the first church in Ethiopia. Its interior is painstakingly decorated. Finally you will have a stop at Dugum Sellase. Overnight in Hawazen.
Aug 25: Excursion to Abune Yemata
After having your breakfast you will drive to the foot of Geraltha to visit the monastery of Debre Mariam Korkor, which dated back 6th century. After a few minutes’ walk from Mariam korkor you can visit the small rock church known as Abba Daniel’s Prayer room. Then drive back to Hawzien. Overnight in Hawzen.
Aug 26: Drive Hawzen – Mekele
This day you will drive to Mekele. Upon arrival check-in to your hotel and then attain the colorful festival of Ashenda. Ashenda is a unique Tigraian traditional festival which takes place in August to mark the ending of fasting called filseta. This event is mostly for girls and young women, which they await very eagerly every year. It is unique to the people in the state of Tigrai in northern Ethiopia. The name of the festival “Ashenda” comes from the name of a tall grass that the girls make in to a skirt and wear it around their waist as a decoration. Overnight in Mekele.
Aug 27: Fly Mekele – Addis – Departure
Attain the colorful Ashendiye festival. Attain the ceremony and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Addis. Upon you arrival you will connect your flight for your departure.