27 FEB, 2020. Ethiopia celebrated Christmas Day on January 7, 2020!! Why? This is because the Ethiopian Calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar, which is used in most parts of the world. In fact, according to the Ethiopian Calendar, the date of this most recent Christmas Day was December 28, 2012!! The Holy Saviour Kindergarten School, Dawhan, which is run by the Sisters of St Louis, had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in the school on Monday January 6.
Each class and their teachers had a role to play during the celebration. In the traditional Ethiopia Christmas celebrations, only boys are allowed to sing and dance, and they do this by going to the individual homes to sing and dance for gifts. Therefore the boys in each class did the singing and dancing, while the girls looked on and clapped for them. Afterwards, two children, a boy and a girl representing Joseph and Mary, were escorted into the hall as all present stood to welcome the baby Jesus and the parents. The Three Wise Men came to present their gifts to the baby Jesus. The children and the staff then did an Ethiopia dance. After that each child was served their Christmas meal and then given a Christmas gift. After the children left, the staff also had their coffee celebration, an important part of Ethiopian culture, where a coffee ceremony is part of every gathering.
To read more about the Christmas celebrations at the Holy Saviour Kindergarten School, Dawhan, click on the latest edition of Musings, our monthly newsletter - Issue 94.