Abiye Tsome - (Lent)
For observant Ethiopian Orthodox Christians over the age of seven, today is the beginning of the fasting period called “Abiye Tsome” which leads up to Easter. For those observing the fast, no animal products will be consumed for the next 55 days and meals should only be consumed after 3:30pm following the daily mass.
There are 180 fasting days throughout the year for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and perhaps because of this Ethiopian cuisine has developed many delicious vegetarian dishes.
In this photo of a “Beyaynetu” or “fasting food combination” you can see cabbage with potatoes; beets; gomen (similar to collard greens); lentils, spicy and non spicy; chick peas, spicy and non spicy; and shiro, a stew made of ground chick peas. All are served on “injera” a spongy bread made from the grain “tef.” You can try most of these tasty dishes throughout Ethiopia at any time of the year.
On 16 of Yekatit 2014 of the Ethiopian Orthodox Calendar (23 February 2022) was the annual “Covenant of Mercy.” These scenes are from the famous Ura Kidane Mehiret Monastery located on the Zege Peninsula of Lake Tana near the Ethiopia town of Bahar Dar.
During this procession, the “Tabot” of the church is carried outside. Every Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a Tabot, a representation of the Ark of the Covenant which sanctifies the church building. In the video, you can see a priest with the Tabot balanced on his head and wrapped in purple fabrics as no-one other than the head priest may lay eyes on the actual Tabot.
Video and photos by Ayinekulu Mulugeta.
Photo by Awaze client Anne Sawvell
The Klipspringer, a small antelope, is found from the highlands of East Africa all the way to South Africa. (Its name derives from an Afrikaans word meaning “rock jumper.”)
Standing only about 50 centimeters (20”) at the shoulder, the Klipspringer has a vertical leap of more than 3.5 meters (12 feet)! Its tiny hooves, measuring about 18mm (3/4”) in diameter, act similar to suction cups allowing the Klipspringer to perch on rocky ledges as small as 40mm (1.5”) across.
Unusual for herbivores, Klipspringers have binocular vision which is thought to be useful for gauging distances and landing areas when leaping.
A pair of klipspringers will bond for life and rarely stray more than 5 or 6 meters from their mate.
Like all dwarf antelopes, Klipspringers have prominent preorbital glands located just below their eyes. These glands produce secretions which aid in marking territory and communication with other animals.
Klipspringers are frequently seen in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains National Parks.