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Monday, July 4, 2016

Exclusive New Year at Sidama
If you had your New Year in January and you are craving for the next holiday, just come to Ethiopia which can allow you to have an exclusive New Year in June.
The UNESCO registered heritage festivity marks the Sidama people New Year. The Fichee-Chambalaalla festivity started by a married Sidama woman who paid a visit to her parents and relatives annually. She used to bring ''buurisame'' a local favorite made from false banana tree (quocho flour) mixed with spiced and purified butter and organic milk._ She served the special dish to her family and the neighbours which remained to be a symbol of unification and generosity of the society. The people kept the gala marking their New Year.
The Sidama have their own unique calendar; a week has five days, a month has twenty-eight days while a year is thirteen months long. Each year, the celebration date is fixed by the local elders who count the days through astrology practice. The day is commemorated with colorful carnivals, songs, yummy local dishes and a lot of milk. It’s a day of equality, allowing all the public to come together and celebrate irrespective of their gender, age and social status. During the eve, traditionally dressed children knock on every door to wish everyone happy New Year. It's a tradition to give the children ''buurisame'' as a sign of acceptance to their good wish.
You might think it’s outdated to receive advices and life instructions from elders and local leaders; but not to the Sidama people who live up to the elder’s instructions and life directions. Two weeks before Fiche, elders hold a fasting after which they pronounce blessings upon their people, cattle and villages. All the locals gather around the elders to listen to their annual life advices plus dos and don’ts. It’s not just a taboo to violate these instructions but also causes liability if the offense happens to be grave enough and done intentionally. The advices include: do not take what belongs to another, do not implore, be consistent to respect every society, work hard and do not cut down trees.
On Fiche day the ''buurisame'' is served in a wooden bowl called shafeta, which is larger than the one they commonly use for other occasions. People scoop the ''buurisame'' with the false banana leaf from one large bowl and eat it taking a dip at the hot butter. As a sign of respect for the cattle’s, Fiche celebration dishes do not include meat, because they believe they must honor their cattle on that day. If there is meat in anybody’s house from previous days, they put it outside of their home until the end of the celebration.
If you want to experience an exceptional carnival, local fashion and great food, you have come to the right place. Bonding with the locals is very easy who will make you feel at home sharing everything they have. It's truly a place which stays in your memory, already forcing you to make a return trip.