Fasika (Easter)

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Fasika or Ethiopian Easter is celebrated in Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Churches throughout the country. The date is calculated following the computus of the Eastern Christian Churches. Most of the time Fasika is celebrated one week after Easter in the Western Christian Churches. In 2014 and 2017 the date will be the same for both Churches.

The holy week of Fasika has a somber atmosphere and church services held are not as colorful as at other occasions but for the faithful of great importance. It is the last week of Lent, a 55-day period of fasting when no meat or animal products of any kind, including milk, butter and eggs are eaten. In the holy week the faithful do not eat anything before 3 pm and daily prayers are conducted at the church.

As in the Western Christian Churches Palm Sunday (Hoseana), Good Friday (Siklet) and Easter Sunday (Fasika) are celebrated. On Hoseana The faithful will go to the churches to collect palm leaves to take to their houses. This is especially celebrated very colorful in Axum. At the service on Siklet the faithful will kneel down and rise up 101 times.

On the eve of Fasika the most important service is held attended by big masses dressed in traditional white cloths. Prayers and chanting will continue until the early hours of the morning when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is announced. At 3 am everyone returns home to break their fast, a chicken is slaughtered at midnight for the symbolic occasion. After a short rest a sheep is slaughtered in the morning to commence the feasting on Fasika.