In Ethiopia it’s the month of Tir, in the middle of the year 2005. Addis Ababa is bright and shinny as usual, it is chilly early in the morning, and at night, but with clear beautiful sky embellished with spectacular shining stars and the silver smile of a glowing moon.
Addis celebrated Gena (Ethiopian Christmas) on Thasas 29 (January 7), though the best is yet to come. On Tir 11, 2005 (January 19, 2013) Addis is going to honor Timket (Epiphany), which is one of the most colorfully and uniquely celebrated holidays of Ethiopia. It’s not only this anticipated holiday, that the month of Tir brings along reasons for Addis Ababa to celebrate, but it is the most cherished month by almost every Addis Ababa’s couples to ‘tie the knot’, love is in the air in this beautiful City too.
It is that time of the year, when you hear traditional Ethiopian wedding songs almost everywhere. If you ever happen to be in Addis this month, don’t get confused by thinking that there is some kind of famous person in the city or someone is making movie; it’s just Addis’s streets getting crowded by decorated fantasy cars which drive the bride and the groom around the city, usually preceded by the pick up truck, that carry the video camera man, followed by Family, Friends, and loved ones blowing their horn, flashing sign lights, singing, clapping and weaving their hands out of the car window.
We Ethiopians use the Julian calendar that means the month of Tir is from Jan 9 to Feb 7 in the western calendar. Tir, is the best time of the year to visit Addis Ababa or Ethiopia; for travelers or anyone who is interested to experience and witness, the fascinating celebration of Timket holiday and the tradition-rich Ethiopian Wedding Ceremony.
If you are already in Addis, walk around the city, especially at the weekends, even more, stop by at Ghion Hotel Park where lot of weddings and ‘Kodak moment’ is taking place. If you get lucky and get an invitation for one of Ethiopian Wedding Ceremonies in Addis, don’t miss it for the world, I assure you it is one of ‘must- see’ events of Addis Ababa.
Now that I tell you to attend Addis Ababa’s Wedding Ceremony, here are some tips for it too. I suggest you get dressed up properly of course but I insist you put on nice shoes and get it cleaned –because in Addis, you are judged by your shoes: and that’s one of the reasons why Addis’s shoe shiners are at every corner, worth to pay visit they are awesome. Don’t forget to grab your camera, get ready to eat – food is very important in Ethiopia wedding ceremony, traditional events and holidays -but don’t get wild with traditional dishes, which is too spicy and the national staple, Injera is very filling. All in all, try to be in the present moment, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy.