“Fasika” is the Amharic term for Easter, and it refers to Ethiopians’ most important celebration of the year, which lasts 55 days. This feast, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, is one of the oldest in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Fasika is the most important Christian festival in Ethiopia, and it lasts one week longer than Western celebrations because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church considers Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to be considerably more important than His birth. Fasika is an Ethiopian Christian festival that brings together all Christian groups, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, for a series of traditional services and events that take place just after Easter on the Western calendar. The closer Easter Sunday approaches, the more elaborate Ethiopian rituals and fasting become. Orthodox Christians and Catholics fast for 55 days, abstaining from all meat and animal products, with Good Friday spent in preparation for the fast’s breaking after a morning Church service. This is very similar to the Western Church’s Lent, which is a 40-day period of fasting leading up to Easter Sunday. The Paschal Vigil takes place on Easter Saturday, when Orthodox Christians bow down and rise until they are too fatigued to continue. The vigil begins with solemn and religious contemplation before breaking out into dancing and music till the early hours of the morning. At 12 a.m., a symbolic chicken is slaughtered, and at 3 a.m., everyone returns home to break their fast with their families. On Easter Sunday, a sheep is slaughtered to begin the feasting, and all denominations have special Services and Masses that bring their communities together. The sheep represents Abraham’s faith being tested when God asks him to sacrifice his only son in the Old Testament. God sends a sacrifice lamb in place of Abraham’s son just as he is ready to carry out God’s wishes. The story is supposed to be a prophetic foretell of Jesus’ death as a world sacrifice as God’s only son. Fasika is a festival of feasting, dancing, and singing that begins with climatic celebrations and culminates in a release of feasting, dancing, and singing. These jubilations not only commemorate the Christian celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, but they also highlight Ethiopian culture’s rich diversity and liveliness. We’d like to ask you to fundraise for one of our many partners during Lent and Easter to help us celebrate the work we’ve been able to accomplish and the hundreds of thousands of lives we’ve changed since 1989.