Ethiopian best time to visit – Part 1 is available at this link 

Ethiopia through December to February

December to February is an important season in Ethiopia for many reasons. You enjoy the weather, a bright sunny one, not very hot temperature, no nasty rain. The green fields are still green and look great.

It is the harvest season too. The time, farmers collect the fruit of their labor. Ethiopian agrarian economy is mainly dependent on rain. During the rainy season (June to mid September) the farmers plow the land and saw the seeds they want to harvest in this time of the year.

At the rainy season, the economy is mostly like the weather, cold and slow until December the time farmers harvest and bring forth their produces to the market.

If you go to the country side, the farmer you watched plowing in June, now you see him harvesting and getting it ready for the house and/or the market. You see happy faces depending on the harvest they have enjoyed.

It is time for them to plan the year ahead. They plan their yearly budget including special events if they have any like weeding or religious feasts. Then he keeps part for the house hold consumption and the rest to the market. They then use the money to get what they need like sugar, salt etc.

The season is also important for Ethiopian urban population since they depend on the farmers as they are the main food suppliers. Cereals and other produces usually got cheaper as well as supplied well at this time of the year.

Ethiopian harvest, feasts and wedding

It is also a business boom season for most small businesses because of the economic activity. Farmers who take the largest portion of the entire population earn their income at this time of the year thus they make most of their purchases. This is good for the small businesses.

December to February is Ethiopians weeding season. Most couples get married at this time of the year. You need to plan ahead if you want to have an Ethiopian weeding at this time of the year. Public halls, parks and hotels are early booked for this time. What best time is there other than this?

By the way, Ethiopians have exotic and extravagant weeding parties unlike their economy. Weeding is highly regarded in the society and should be as much colorful and cultural.

Most Ethiopians prefer to have a traditional weeding including the pre and post weeding ceremonies. Of course there are many who would like to have their ceremonies at the church and the traditional styles.

Of course the weeding has to be done before or after the Christmas fasting season which lasts for a little more than a month. During fasting seasons Ethiopians avoid any animal products and weeding without meat is almost unthinkable.

The fasting season is practiced by Christians who are followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and lasts for 40 days and will be over by Ethiopian Christmas which is held on January 7.

Ethiopian festivals – Christmas, Epiphany, and Bull Jumping

The two most important festivals which are celebrated by Christians are held at this time of the year. Ethiopian Christmas, locally named Genna or Leddet which is held on January 7 and the other colorful festival Timket held on January 18 and 19 since it is a two days festival.

Genna or Leddet is Ethiopian Christmas that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago whilst Timket is Ethiopia’s Epiphany which is the most colorful festival of the year and celebrated by millions of Ethiopian Christians.

Ethiopian December to February is also important for the southern part particularly for the lower Omo valley tribes. They also harvest their produces at this time of the year.

In Hamer and Karo tribes they plan most of their bull jumping ceremonies (a ritual practiced to prove the passage of the young man into adolescence) at this time of the year.  This is an important ceremony that you don’t want to miss if you are traveling to southern Ethiopia

The last thing I would like to add about this season is that it is a time hot for the tourism business for most Ethiopian tour operators and service providers. Hotels and other accommodations get busy at this time of the year.

There are many tourists who would like to take part in the most colorful festivals of Timket and Ethiopian Christmas. If you have any plan to visit Ethiopia, you might want to consider this time so you can have a life time experience.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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