Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsOromo traditional religious holiday Irreecha celebrated in Bishoftu, Addis Ababa

Oromo traditional religious holiday Irreecha celebrated in Bishoftu, Addis Ababa

Irreecha  _ Oromo traditional religious holiday
Irreecha celebration in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit). Photo : Public Domain


Irreecha, a religious holiday in the traditions of ethnic Oromo religious tradition, Waqe Fena, was on Saturday celebrated in Bishoftu ( where the religious ritual was mostly celebrated before it was introduced to the capital Addis Ababa in the past three years) and Addis Ababa.

The celebration in Addis Ababa ( Hore-Finfine as the followers of the religious tradition call it) also attracted millions of people from Ethnic Oromo areas of Ethiopia.  

Ethiopians from other ethnic groups have cheered the faithful of the Waqe Fena religious tradition. 

The celebration is composed of cultural dancing and singing. On the religious side, a ritual takes place in a tradition similar to other animist religions. The followers hold freshly cut grass and made a procession to water bodies to touch the water and sprinkle it as a gesture of praise to Waqa. 

The faithful of the religion describe the whole of Irreecha as a “Thanksgiving holiday” whereby the faithful offer praise to God (Waqe ) for ending the rainy season and ushering them to the new year ( Ethiopian New Year falls on September 11). 

Many Ethiopians outside of ethnic Oromo are becoming familiar with Irreecha; they have even started celebrating it wearing ethnic Oromo cultural dresses. 

Yet, there are also noticeable voices, as observed on social media, that tend to think that Irreecha is politicized, especially after it was brought to Addis Ababa a few years ago, and that sounds like a state religion now. 

Government special support (from three levels of the government)  to Irreecha has been noticeable in the past three years.  

Several Ethiopian authorities have conveyed the best wish messages on the occasion of the Holiday. 

Prime  Minister Abiy Ahmed himself wrote a long letter to express his wish to those who celebrate it. In his message, he attempted to explain the significance of Irreecha. 


As is the case with other open-air religious festivals ( in the Christian and Islamic traditions), the government made security arrangements to ensure that the holiday is celebrated peacefully.  

Police on Sunday said the celebration was peaceful and that millions of people have participated in the Bishoftu ( Debre Zeit) and Addis Ababa. 

At this point, there is no reported violence in connection with Irreecha – at least in Addis Ababa and Bishoftu ( Debre Zeit). 

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  1. Dear Editors!

    I’m itching to declare victory for our old country, that country of the upright people and that gem of the colored! I’m having fits to declare total victory on COVID-19. Our daughter/sister H.E Dr. Lia bint Tadesse has shown the world how to win a deadly pandemic war with meager tools she has. I have a clarion clear proof for you. There hasn’t been a single death since August 30, 2022. That is right! Goose egg deaths from COVID-19 for more than 34 days strait!!! I knew it from the very beginning when I found out the ministry in charge of the health of more than 120 million is headed by one of our glorious women! This incarnate of that fire spitting warrior Taytu(Don’t start with me about that Barentu/Amhara blend patriot! If you do I can talk about her spoils in the battlefield and diplomacy all day and all night long until you call 911) looked in the eyes of COVID-19 pathogen and said ‘get lost!’ As of today there isn’t a single patient in the intensive care unit. I would like to dedicate these lyrics from Whitney Houston’s song at the 1988 Olympics to our victorious daughter/sister Dr. Lia bint Tadesse:
    Proudly play this 1988 song when you’ve labored intensively towards one illustrious achievement and you’re approaching the pinnacle of success. Breathe deeply, then bask in the glory and enjoy your moment:
    I’ve lived to be the very best
    I want it all, no time for less
    I’ve laid the plans
    Now lay the chance
    Here in my hands.


    • Dear Over Qualified Editors,

      I wanted this to get it off my chest for almost a week but I could not find the daily tally that used to be posted here on the front page. Then I said what the heck am gonna post it where there is no news of the war and no other comments. I was sure that would not ruffle any feathers. But Dr. Lia’s achievement should be lauded as a victory. She has shown the skill how to assemble a very bright and capable team.

      Thank you for your kind understanding and letting my celebration ride on your esteemed website!


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