Fasika – Ethiopian Easter

Mar 26, 2021

In Ethiopia, Easter is called Fasika and it is celebrated following specific traditions directly related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Before the Easter celebration season, families fast from any animal product. But when it is Fasika, families come together early in the morning and break their fasting. Doro wat, a spicy chicken dish, is a typical food that will be served with injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made out of teff flour.  After eating Doro wat, a sheep will be slaughtered to prepare for lunch.

During Ethiopian holidays, it is also common to be served with special bread called Defo Dabo. This bread is big in size and anyone that comes to visit a house will be given a slice.  Of course, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony takes the center of the celebration, making the home warm and enjoyable.

The next Sunday following Fasika is called Dagma Tensae or literally called second Easter. For the next several days following Fasika, and including Dagma Tensae, families and close friends take turns to host lunches and dinners. This extends the whole celebration for close to two weeks.

Fasika is one of the biggest Christian celebrations in Ethiopia where visitors from outside of the country also come to join the celebration.

A trip to Ethiopia should almost always be planned around one of the country’s major holidays, and Easter is one of these celebrations. For example, planning a mission trip with Addis Jemari near holiday celebrations will give you a chance to combine spending some time in Addis Ababa while witnessing colorful celebrations, including Fasika.

Fasika is one of the largest Christian celebrations in Ethiopia! This year’s holiday falls on May 2, 2021.  Until then, we wish all who are fasting a happy fasting and prayer season!