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The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

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Ethiopian Christmas

Everyone experiences Christmas differently, so it’s very interesting to see how others do. The experience of Ethiopian Christmas is very unique. Many believe it’s just a difference in calendars, since traditionally Christmas is celebrated on December 25, while Ethiopians celebrate on January 7; however, the date is only a small factor. 

As the event is major for Ethiopian Christianity, it starts a day before. People begin to fill into the church the prior evening. The church is so packed that people are standing outside the church as they cannot not fit inside. 

People, while inside the Church, can not wear shoes, which is related to the story of Moses and the burning bush. 

One unique feature of the Ethiopian Christmas liturgy is that during the event three gifts are presented, with the frankincense being used by the priest to perform holy acts in the church. A small explanation of what the frankincense is that it’s the representation of the stomach of Virgin Mary. The incense holder, or machesha, is filled with coal, and the fire represents the unity between divinity and humanity. 

Towards the end of the event the people dance and sing songs that praise god. A special instrument used during the dancing and singing are orthodox drums, or kebero. The amount of drums are proportional to how big the church is.

This is just a small insight into how the Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated. I advise you to look more into it, as it’s very interesting to learn about others and important for our relative perspective.

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About the Contributor
Earl Coker, Writer
Earl is currently a sophomore at HMSA and is in his second year in newspaper. Fresh out of ideas, he’s attempting to go for a second. He also enjoys going to the gym in his free time and likes to cook.

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