World Music Advent Calendar - December 4th
Updated: Jun 13, 2021
ETHIOPIA: The Savior Of The World Is Born Today - Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Christianity is often thought of as being brought over to Africa by imperialist Western powers who colonised nations across the continent. This fallacy is put into check by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church which was founded around 350AD. The oldest Christian nation in Africa, Ethiopia has particularly unique Christmas traditions to the rest of the continent. Members of the largest Oriental Orthodox Christian church come together and sing a traditional song that commemorates the birth of Jesus, with the song being named after a quote that comes from the gospel according to Luke. The music itself sounds distinct from Western carols, thus demonstrating the preservation of their own unique traditions. Christmas in Ethiopia is in fact celebrated on January 7th after a 43 day fast, known as the ‘Fast of the Prophets’ (Tsome Nebiyat) where only vegetables and grains are permitted in their one meal a day. The importance of the Tewahedo Church reverberates around the nation as Christmas is seen as a religious affair rather than a materialistic one in the way that it has been changed by their Western counterparts.