3 days & 2 nights
Mexico, Wabi Shebelle Hotel @ 12:00 LT
Sept 25-27, 2023
Meskel in Gurage is not only limited within the reigon but also the whole of Ethiopia. As we all know the people of Gurage are widely known for their hardworking habits. And for this many people leave theirhomeland and migrate to the cities for a better life. Aside from the people in the reigon the people who go backto their homelands also have duties to fulfill. To fulfill these duties and expectations they save money all year long specifically for Meskel. One of the duties are buying clothes for their parents,sibblings and the needy in the area. Aside from that they are expected to gift a ox or a goat to their parents for Meskel.
As for the parents or families waiting in Gurage to welcome them the women stock butter and enset (false banana) throughout the year for meskel.
The meskel celebration in Gurage may have a span of 14days depending on the area. Through these days there are days on which only a certain type of food is eaten for example there’s a day on which only Gomen is eaten. Long story short lets focus on the three main days where you can see the most amazing culture.
Day1(Meskel eve): The day of slaughter which is one day before the main holiday. Early in the morning on this day people gather around to make the demera which is a giant bonfire made by Ethiopian Christians to celebrate Meskel. They then go to the slaughter ceremony. During the slaughter ceremony the ox should fall on the right side or is flipped the other way around. At night the bonfire is lighted and people dance around the bonfire. Finally the ceremony will be finalized by the blessings of their elders.
Day2(Meskel day): This is the day that the whole of Ethiopia celebrates meskel. On this day you might see people with crosses made of ashes on their foreheads the ashes are from last nights demera. Afterwards the people gather around and sit on a handmade traditional mat that is made and used for meskel only and enjoy their kitfo, ayib, gomen, drink tej which is like a traditional honey wine and other alcoholic beverages. The foods are not sereved on plates as we assume but is eaten on a leaf cut into shapes and is eaten with a spoon made of an ox’s horn.
Day3:this is the day in which the whole family including their in-laws. Absence on this day is not permitted and the person absent will be punished according to the indeginious law. As the main part of the day two selected representatives or respected people will pave the way for two people to forgive eachother. Here’s how it goes before the program begins wether guilty or not the younger one will go down to the other’s knees and asks for forgiveness the older one will forgive since it’s a must to forgive on Meskel. Meskel is such a big deal in Gurage that even if a husband and wife want to divorce in less than two months from meskel it has to wait untill the holiday has ended.