Fasika (Easter Holiday) is one of the national and religious holidays of Ethiopia. Year after year Fasika is being celebrated in a most spiritually mesmerizing church service, earnest, unique and beautiful traditions throughout the country by Christian Ethiopians.
The very fact that makes this particular celebration so unique besides its religious aspect; it is that special time of year when Ethiopians and Orthodox religion followers in particular prepare Easter Feast to be enjoyed after LENT and which is the main topic of this particular post.
The preparation of Ethiopian Easter Feast and of course other Ethiopian Holidays starts almost two weeks before the actual celebration day. Opening with the top two home brewed Ethiopian traditional mead – Tella and Tej – which takes more than a week or so to ferment and ready to be served. Thus, the long and interesting process of brewing these traditional Ethiopian mead at home makes it one of the eloquent pieces of Ethiopian Holidays.
Tella – a dark beer brewed from barely and Gesho (a hop-like woody shrub).
The one particular interesting fact that makes it one of Ethiopia’s distinctive tradition drinks is, its smoky flavor due to the supplement of bread darkened by baking and use of a fermentation container which has been smoked by inversion over fuming wood.
Tej – a honey wine or mead brewed with Gesho (a hop-like woody shrub), organic honey and water. Tej is a more powerful drink than Tella. The alcohol content of Tej is believed to be ranging from 6% – 9% as filtered Tella’s alcohol content is around 5% – 6%. Tej is traditional mead mainly used for great feasts like Fasika and weddings.
Tej is also considered as a Royalty beverage.
These two legendary Ethiopian mead goes well with Ethiopian traditional holiday cuisines and usually prepare for Holidays and special occasions at home at this time of year by many Ethiopians throughout the country.
Stepping out of the kitchen… of course it is during this time of year when every Ethiopian markets being at its liveliest.
Difo Dabo (Large and round home backed Ethiopian traditional leaven bread of wheat flour, spices, oil, salt or sugar) is another eloquent pieces which beckons and enhances Ethiopian holiday spirit.
This simple but divine home baked bread is usually prepared for holidays and special occasions like Weddings, Birthdays and Special Religious Celebrations. An elder person of the family or the owner of the house usually cut the bread after giving out prayer, blessings and best wishes.
Even though Difo Dabo contains a very simple recipe, it’s interesting traditional ways of preparation that gives its unique look and of course exotic taste. The mesmerizing process of baking Difo Dabo contains ordinary, interesting but worth mentioning details. Using larger and round traditional clay made like oven called Geber Mitad in Amharic, covering the dough with Koba (false banana leaf) as a cooking parchment, adding small eucalyptus leafs to get aromatic and exotic test, sprinkling spices like Tikur Azmud ( Ethiopian Black Cumin) and Nech Azmud (Bishop’s Weed) with a pinch of salt are among the details.
The tantalizing smell of the baking bread along with the burning woods that emanates from many Ethiopian households during this time of year definitely beckons the holiday spirit, and spurs beautiful memories.
As food plays big role in every Ethiopian holidays, preparing traditional Ethiopian holiday cuisines takes beautiful details, exotic ingredients, time, passion, family and special religious holiday like Fasika!
Last but not least, no Ethiopian holiday, special occasions and even weekends here in Ethiopia would be complete without the glorious Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony and it is one of the eloquent pieces of Fasika and the very ritual which is close to many Ethiopian hearts.