Buhe celebration at British embassy, Addis Ababa


For the first time, the Buhe festival was celebrated in British Embassy. Buhe, also known as the Festival of the Cross, is a significant celebration in Ethiopia. It is observed on August 19th according to the Ethiopian calendar, which corresponds to around September 27th in the Gregorian calendar. 


The Buhe celebration holds religious and cultural significance and is marked by various traditions and customs. Here's an overview of the Ethiopian Buhe celebration: Buhe is primarily a religious festival celebrated by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 


It commemorates the finding of the True Cross of Jesus Christ by Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. The festival is a way for believers to honor the cross and express their faith.


Bonfires and Demera: One of the main highlights of the Buhe celebration is the lighting of the bonfires and the Demera ceremony. Demera refers to a large bonfire made of bundled branches and twigs. The bonfire symbolizes the burning of the false teachings of King Ezana of Aksum, who persecuted Christians before Ethiopia officially embraced Christianity. People gather around the bonfire, sing hymns, and offer prayers.


Traditional Food: Buhe is also a time to enjoy traditional Ethiopian cuisine. One popular dish prepared during this festival is "Ambasha," which is a special bread made from roasted barley, wheat, and spices. This bread is shared with family, friends, and neighbors as a symbol of unity and generosity.

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