Genna (Ethiopian Christmas) at Lalibela January 7, 2017

Posted: December 19, 2016 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa
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The annual celebration of Genna on Tashisas 29 commemorates the birthday of Christ. It is also the break of the fasting period of usually known as Tsoma Nebiat (Fasting of the Prophets). Due to the discrepancy between calendars Ethiopian Christmas falls thirteen days after the European Christmas. In the town of Lalibela, the colorful celebration of Genna coincides with the birthday of King Lalibela, who took the credit for the construction of eleven rock hewn churches approximately 800 years ago.

While celebration Genna at Lalibela, the clergy commemorate miraculous events which occurred when Jesus was born at Behtlehem. Angels and herds praised God at the same time when Jesus was born at Bethlehem (Luck, Chapter 2). The clergy commemorate this incident at the cliff of Beta Mariam Church (one of the eleven rock hewn churches in the enclosure). They commemorate by performing the hymn, half being at the top of the cliff and remaining half at the bottom. While the clergy at the top of the cliff symbolizes the angles, those at the bottom represent the herds.

The celebration of Genna share other common characters. Games like Genna and horse galloping are common festival. Genna is an outdoor game similar to field hockey. It is played by boys and young men in two teams. This game is played on Christmas to celebrate the birthday of Christ and to commemorate the game of the herds when Christ was born at Bethlehem.

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