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Religion is a constant and central feature of Ethiopians society. In earlier times, Christianity, Islam and Judaism were the three major religions that make up the major part of Ethiopians culture.  Now days nearly half of the population is Christian, belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose 4th Century beginnings came long before Europe accepted Christianity. Some 35 percent of the population is Muslim.  A further small percentage of the population adheres to traditional and other beliefs. Most of Ethiopia's Muslims are Sunnis, members of the largest sect of Islam.  Ethiopia is a country where Christians and Muslims live peacefully. Despite the difference in religion, the people have developed one Ethiopian character: all are welcoming, kind and hospitable people for strangers.

Any religious celebrations in Ethiopia are great and full of colorful events, and frequently take place over several days. These traditions and festivals that take place thought out the country are deeply rooted and all are the more poignant.

Important Christian holidays that attract thousand of pilgrims include:

  • Kullubi- Feast of St Gabriel, 28 December:
    St Gabriel is the Patron Saint who guards over homes and churches. There is a huge pilgrimage to St Gabriel's Church on Kulubi hill, which is on the route from Addis Ababa eastwards, about 70 kilometers before Dire Dawa. Many pilgrims carry heavy burdens as penance, children are brought to be baptized, and offerings are made to be distributed to the poor. 
  • GISHEN MARIAM - celebrated on October 1st for the commemoration of St. Mary day.
    Thousands of pilgrims come here on October 1st, its annual celebration day; to commemorate the occasion. It is located west of Dessie after mounting the Zigzag rood crossing the Bishlo River.
  • The colorful Festivals of   Ethiopian Christmas & Ethiopian Epiphany in Lalibela, celebrated on 7 & 19 0f January consecutively.
  • Axum Tsion Festival which falls on 2 December.

On the other hand, the major sites for visiting Muslim pilgrims include:

  • Negash Mosque near Mekele
  • Sheik Hussein and Sof Omar around Bale
  • Above all the old Muslim city of Harar with its more than 90 Mosques.

Please contact us for further information for these packages.

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