5 days & 4 nights
Mexico, Wabi Shebelle Hotel @ 12:00 LT
September 25-29, 2023
Festival Trip to Gurage, Arbamich and Dorze Village – Are your taste buds tingling at the thought of savoring Kitfo, Gomen, Ayeb, or Kocho? Well, get ready to satisfy your cravings because Meskel is just around the corner! Imagine indulging in these delectable indigenous dishes prepared by none other than the skilled Gurage communities in Ethiopia. But the excitement doesn’t stop there – the Ethiopian Gurages are eagerly awaiting Meskel too, to showcase their renowned Koch and Kitfo dishes. It’s not just any day; it’s the grand celebration of Meskel that’s about to sweep through Ethiopia, and it holds a special place in the hearts of the Gurages.
Known for their industrious nature and trading prowess, the Gurage people have more up their sleeves than you might think. Their hardworking ways might fool you into believing they have no time for festivities, but Meskel is an exception – a time when preparation takes precedence.
Picture yourself in Addis Ababa’s Merkato area, where an unusual quietness fills the air. Meskel season has cast its spell, and the Ethiopian Gurages are already in full swing with their preparations. Saving money, purchasing garments, and gathering gifts for loved ones back home – it’s all part of the Meskel anticipation.
And it’s not just those from distant lands who return; Gurages from the diaspora long for their hometowns and families, flocking back to join the Meskel celebrations. This isn’t just a one-day affair – Gurage communities extend the Meskel joy over two weeks, a time to reunite families and friends, forging unforgettable memories.
Imagine embarking on a journey to the lush, semi-mountainous southwest region of Ethiopia, where the Gurages call home. As the festivities unfold, adults who’ve returned to their villages take center stage by providing bulls or goats for the Meskel feast. The sacrificial rituals, a blend of tradition and spirituality, set the stage for the grand feast.
And oh, what a feast it is! The tender, finely ground raw beef, Kitfo, prepared with homemade butter and a burst of flavors, becomes the star of the show. Served with Kocho, a pancake crafted from the versatile false banana, and complemented by the honey-infused local drink called tej, it’s a gastronomic experience that tantalizes the senses.
Picture yourself raising a toast with local alcohol, sharing blessings in a moment that feels as exhilarating as winning the lottery. And when the meal concludes, the villages come alive with music, dancing, and an infectious festive spirit. Men and women line up for the lively Gurage dance, a testament to their stamina and dedication.
Amidst the nationwide celebrations, it’s intriguing why Meskel stands out as the ultimate Gurage holiday. Legend has it that the roots of this annual religious festival trace back to the discovery of the true cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. The legend’s threads weave through history, leading to Ethiopia, where the cross’s significance endures.
Imagine being part of the mesmerizing Meskel eve – Demera – characterized by blazing bonfires and marked by ash crosses, symbolizing good wishes and blessings. And of course, the festivities continue with dining, drinks, and the vibrant Ethiopian coffee ceremony, an integral part of the culture.
So, are you ready to immerse yourself in this vibrant celebration? Join us for a 5-day journey to Gurage, Arba Minch, and Dorze Village, where the Meskel holiday shines brightly and peace reigns supreme. A chance to explore, feast, dance, and revel in the heartwarming traditions of Ethiopia awaits you. Book your trip now and be a part of this unforgettable Meskel experience!