Street carnivals in about 10 days

11 Aug 2017


Tigray and Amhara States have finalized preparations to celebrate street carnivals, commonly known as Ashenda and Shadey by the people of the respective States.

The celebration falls in August 22 and lasts for five days, giving girls and young women the opportunity to chant and dance in their neighborhoods and public areas.

Tigray Culture and Tourism Bureau, Public Relations Head Abadi Desta told The Ethiopian Herald that his Bureau has been striving to celebrate Ashenda colorfully in collaboration with stakeholders like Regional Communication Affairs Bureau, Tigray Women’s Affairs Bureau and Tigray Women’s Association.

“Ashenda is celebrated every year in a very magnificent manner. It has become the first flamboyantly celebrated street carnival in the world which is performed by girls and young women. We started our preparation as of June 8 through workshops and panel discussions,” he said, adding: “the celebration committee has been promoting th festivity by assigning prominent ladies as Ambassadors of Ashenda.”

Abadi stated that reporters of national media as well as correspondents of major international outlets are expected to cover the event. “Over 80 local and foreign journalists will arrive at the State’s capital, Mekelle.

‘‘We have agreed a deal with state’s television, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate (EBC), to a two-hour live broadcast of Ashenda. As far as foreign media are concerned, we have contacted world mainstream media like CNN, BBC, Reuters, CCTV and Anadolu Agency. “CNN and Anadoulu have already confirmed their attendance.”

The holiday will be opened officially on 21 August 2017 through panel discussion on the preservation of Ashenda festivity, dressing code and hairdo.

Starting from August 22, girls and young women would perform the street carnival accompanied by tens of thousands of local people, members of the Diaspora community, senior governmental officials and tourists, Abadi noted.

On the other hand, he underlined that Tigray Culture and Tourism Bureau in collaboration with the Authority for Conservation of Cultural Heritage has been endeavoring to register Ashenda, St. Yared and his works, Gerealta Mountains, Al-nejashi Mosque and Adwa and its battle in UNESCO world heritage list.

Regarding accommodation, Abadi confirmed that hotels, transportation facilities and other logistics are at the ready.

Similarly, Haileyesus Filate, Amhara State Public Relations Director, told this reporter that preparations have been finalized to celebrate the holiday starting from August 22, 2017 for five consecutive days.

The carnival would mainly be celebrated in Lasta Lalibela, Rayakobo and Sokota localities.

The festivity has variants in the areas; Shadey at Waghimra, Ashendye at Lasta-Lalibela and Solel Rayakobo zones, he said, adding that it is very lively holiday celebrated by girls and young women adorned with traditional clothing and hairdo and accompanied by men.

Since the new Ethiopian Millennium, the regional government has been celebrating the holiday in an eye-catching way, Hileyesus added. “We have planned to make the celebration one of the major tourism heritages which could generate foreign currency earnings,” Haileyesus reasserted.

‘‘The Culture and Tourism Bureau is working earnestly in collaboration with the concerned bodies to further promote the festivity.’’

He added that Amhara Mass media Agency will broadcast the celebration live so as to be viewed in different parts of the world.

Haileyesus said that besides celebrating the folk festival, the State government has aimed to mark the days with panel discussions, exhibitions.


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