Ethiopian Sacred Music: Honoring Fasting Season

While the rest of  the world celebrated Easter holiday almost a week ago, Ethiopia continues in offering lent, and of course, twenty eight days remains to celebrate Ethiopian Easter holiday, which is going to fall on Miazia 27,2005 (May 5,20013).


During the fasting season which started on March 11, 2013 in Ethiopia, the Orthodox Church religion followers not only prohibited themselves from eating meat and all dairy products, but also dedicate themselves in prayer, mediation, spirituality and focus on soul nourishing practices.


Because of the fasting season, nightclubs, bars and butcher’s of Addis Ababa are not as busy as they used to be. Regarding music of Addis Ababa, concerts and New Album releases are put on hold till the lent is over.

As always and particularly at this time of year, the Ethiopian Harp is at the top of Ethiopian playlist. Everywhere you go you hear the buzzing sound of the huge, Multi-stringed lyre, often referred to as the Harp of David, and the unique Ethiopian instrument that used on scared occasions called “Begena”.   These days you find Albums of Ethiopian Harps created by many Orthodox Church Gospel Singers like Yilma Hailu and it is at this time of year radio stations of Addis Ababa plays Begena in commemorating the Fasting Season.


Begena performer usually sings his own composed texts often taken from the Bible that includes  different kinds of subject matters about life and give praise to God.  Here is the legendary Begena Player Alemu Aga and his most reputable Fasting Season Song called “Keto Aykerim Motu”  It’s about the inevitable of Death!

About Sara Genene

I am a traveler... on an endless journey of self-discovery!
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