The most remarkable thing about Christmas in Ethiopia is the fact that we still follow the Julian calendar and therefore Christmas is observed on 7th January and not on December 25th. According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church or in the working language of Ethiopia, Christmas is termed “Genna”. ”Melkam Genna!” means Merry Christmas in Amharic. The Christmas celebrations in Ethiopia are conducted in all ancient and modern churches with much fervor. Followers of the Ethiopian orthodox Churches fast on Christmas Eve which is 6th January, and break their fast on the next day, i.e. on Genna. Following tradition, each individual enters the church with a candle in his or her hand dressed in white robes. Unlike many other parts of the world, Christmas is not much commercialized in Ethiopia. The focus is more on family gatherings and the spiritual aspects of the festival. People spend a lot of time praying to the Lord and singing in his reverence. A strict observance of fast itself tells the profound spiritual association with Christmas.
On this occasion, the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Consulate General Office in Frankfurt, Germany would like to say ”Melkam Genna” and “Melkam Addis Amet” – the later means Happy New Year!