“Live in each season as it passes; breath the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Live in each season as it passes; breath the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
Henry David Thoreau
Today while celebrating Enkutatash – Ethiopian New Year – I am being inspired by beautiful Ethiopian holiday rituals that I am blessed to be surrounded by and of course actuated to share it with the world through the following photo essay.
Enjoy my Enkutatash Celebration.
In honoring treasured Ethiopian regional holiday rituals.
September 12, 2015 in welcoming year 2008.
Happy New Year!
“Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.” – Faith Baldwin
Like the Egyptian Coptic, Ethiopian calendar have a year of 13 months. The first 12 months have 30 days each, and the last 13th month has 5 days and 6 days in leap year.
The name of the 13th month is in Ge’ez and known as PAGUMIENE. This uniquely short but sweet month of PAGUMIENE just started here in Ethiopia and is going to last for the next six days at this time of year.
The 13th month of PAGUMIENE is more like a transition moment, getting all ready for the New Year celebration, and of course reflecting on the old year and making a resolution for the coming Ethiopian New year which is going to take place on September 12, 2015 for this year.
One of the very interesting details of this particular short month is that it holds a day that rain is actually considered as Holy Water. On that particular day many Ethiopian orthodox religion followers stand under the pouring rain to get the blessing and even save it in a container.
The Ethiopian calendar is always seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian (Western) and Eastern Orthodox Church calendars during September and December and eight years and four months behind during January and August.
And now here in Ethiopia, we are saying goodbye to year 2007 and welcoming year 2008 via the uniquely last, 13th, and shortest month of the year.
Heading to the unruffled, misty and heavenly verdant of the Western part of the country … JIMMA is one of the western Ethiopia town that famously known for being a home to soul revitalizing Coffee.
Apparently in addition to coffee, Jimma is capable of alluring visitors via the historical site of interests – the surprising Jimma Museum, the historical Abba Jiffar’s Palace, Mausoleum and Mosque.
Abba Jiffar II is the legendary, the tallest and of course the powerful late 19th – century ruler of Jimma
To relish in Jimma’s amazingly lush nature, an excursion from Jimma to Lake Boye is an exciting itinerary.
Last but not least, out stalking the city to experience a relaxed and full of character Ethiopian town that kissed with time honored Italian touch buildings even here in Jimma.
Like anywhere else in the country, locals and visitors alike enjoy Ethiopian coffee either at a café straight from espresso machine, or at little traditional coffee hangouts that found almost at every corner of the street; or at the entrance of local restaurants, café’s or independently at their very own little traditional coffee shops dedicated to serve traditional coffee only; with all its eloquent pieces.
These traditional coffee shops are locally known as Ye Jebena Bunna as the aromatic, warm and fortifying coffee comes straight from Jebena (Ethiopian Traditional clay made Coffee pot).
Legend has it, as Jimma being the trade place of Coffee, Abba Jiffar get the inspiration from one of coffee traders of Armenian and Sudanese heritage Arabs kitchen utensil which they used for boiling water. Then modified the already existing the two handler traditional clay water pot locally known as MASERO by making it to just a one long handler and a side tube for the coffee to be poured out of and transform it into the now Ethiopian Traditional coffee pot – Jebena.
It is not only nature and coffee that Jimma is blessed with, but delicious and organic honey is also another sweet signature of Jimma. And I made every worthy excuses to relish in Jimma’s honey. In my opinion, having one of regional delights of Ethiopia, from Oromiya’s exotically delightful cuisines – Chechebsa – at a local café for breakfast should be at top of the list of every Jimma visitor’s while being at the lush Oromiya region.
Simply stated, Chechebsa is an instant slightly and softly baked pizza like round bread of barely, whole wheat, tef or white wheat flour locally known as Kita. Then crumbled into little pieces and thoroughly drenched in Ethiopian clarified butter – Nit’ir Qibe – and Berbere spice mix to be transformed into Chechebsa. A drizzle of organic honey at the freshly made Chechebsa makes it all complete for glowingly sweeten authentic taste of Oromiya.
The exotically richness of Nit’ir Qibe, with the little bit heat from the distinctively striking Berbere spice mix, the delightful chew on from the little pieces of bread and the sweetness of the honey to relish in warmly savory and sweet is just distinctively divine.
Having Fetira for delightful breakfast in Jimma was my other worthy excuse of enjoying the scrumptiously famed Jimma’s Honey.
A talk about Jimma would not be complete without mentioning another Jimma’s signature to experience it through craftsmanship. The traditional three legged wooden carved little stools as locally known as BERCHUMA or DUKA, not only graces any Ethiopian traditional coffee shops, eateries or households, but are one of the eloquent pieces of a communally genuine Ethiopian traditional eating culture and coffee ceremony. And Jimma is famously known for traditionally perfectly made BERCHUMA.
Sit comfortably and …
Sip coffee for the soul at JIMMA!
There are many restaurants and cafes established either by an expat to bring their home to another land or a native whom have been abroad for a while brings a foreign experience to their motherland. Positively all these contribute in making up Addis Ababa as an interesting African arena that provides a little bit of everything from all around the world.
Having breakfast in Addis Ababa can be an exciting experience as there are two choices either to relish in the very filling traditional Ethiopian breakfast or to step out of the ordinary and enjoy a simply delightful breakfast for celebrating positive culinary fusion.
Personally I prefer to enjoy a destination through simple little eateries, patisseries, bakeries or bistros rather than hugely sophisticated restaurants that can be as far as the actual destination – unreachable for many locals. As a firm believer that a destination can be enjoyed through as simple as having Chai at the Indian restaurant or green tea at Chinese restaurant but I believe it should be compellingly accessible to the locals even though there is nothing wrong of making it all fancy.
One Saturday morning in honoring a cosmic urge of try out something new, I found myself at the newly opened little Bistro and Bakery that goes by the name FIVE LOAVES. The brick and wood refined one story building that the bakery housed in is pleasantly inviting. Spotless, well-furnished and creatively designed interior makes it all cozy.
As an inquisitive person, If not outside at verandah, I choose sitting by the window to be enchanted and inspired by Addis Ababa’s everyday life from the street while enjoying my breakfast and the ambiance of the café at the same time. Downstairs at this Bistro, table 1 and 2 beautifully and conveniently set up by the window and I pick table 2 as it is the perfect spot to observe and enjoy my surrounding either from the inside or outside through the window.
Little bit about the ambiance of the Bistro, I really enjoyed the little framed black and white Ethiopian photographs hanged up on the walls reminders of how rich our ordinary life can be as there are pictures that shows everyday life of Ethiopia.
Time for me to order. Well as it is was the beginning of the day. As the place was once just a dream or in the imagination of the owner of this place while being abroad either somewhere in Europe or North America. Even better as it is a Bakery. I thought it would make a perfect sense that I have as simple as sweet breakfast bakery – CROISSANT.
And of course as an Ethiopian and being at its birth place I wouldn’t miss my morning coffee for the world. If it is straight from the espresso machine, then I love my coffee with a dash of Milk so CAFFE MACCHIATO that is. Croissant avec foamy Macchiato made of Ethiopian coffee was a heavenly match at least for me and I thought can it get any simply European than this here in Addis Ababa.
Till my breakfast arrive, why don’t I share with you a little bit more about the bistro I found myself at here in Addis Ababa. Well obviously as a bakery it provides different kinds of freshly baked loafs and breads and sweet treats from doughnuts to beautifully decorated creamy cakes. As a bistro, it serves different kinds of vegetable salads and sandwiches which you pick from the hand written menu on a board that hanged up on a wall behind the counter either to enjoy it downstairs or upstairs.
OH HAPPY DAY! I ate my food with my eyes already and I must say it really tasted as good as it looked maybe even better. The crispy top kissed with pristine white sweet sugar powder and the not too dense rather fluffy texture from the inside that just crumbled in my mouth was divine. Compared to many bastardized croissant I had here in Addis, this one is just the best by far.
Talking about coffee, l am going to be brutally blunt about the fact that you can have unpleasant coffee at some places even here in Ethiopia where coffee is nothing but a religion. But today here at Five Loaves Bistro and Bakery, my coffee experience through Caffe Macchiato was truly delightful …I crossed my fingers so that it stays the same.
Obviously it feels good to experience a destination without leaving home and even in some places to the point that makes you feel that you are actually somewhere else, but the ordinary Addis Ababa’s everyday life scene which I am being able to capture through the not so much openly reveling wooden framed windowpane is a constant sweet reminder of that I am at Home and apparently for visitors that they are at the interestingly lively capital city of Africa – Addis Ababa.
Anbesa Autobus – the yellow and red local bus with a side sign of Anbesa which literally means a lion. The 12 seated white and blue minivan local taxis that runs around throughout the city are indeed the eloquent pieces of Addis Ababa besides just being means of transport and this is rather how I see it -live colorful details that portraits the beautifully ordinary everyday life of Africa.
Basking in the ordinary bliss of BREAKFAST!
Leading armchair travelers from all over the world, through one of the many interesting events Addis Ababa hosts throughout the year; to experience the destination and to inspire. In spite of it all, in honoring my passion of giving homage to the Extraordinary within the ORDINARY.
It was a bit daring to pick from the many cultural podiums which presented at this particular event, as Ethiopia is a beautifully diverse country; filled with so many fascinatingly warm domestic details -in which I tempted to present it all at this particular culture post though obviously impossible. Eventually, I am forced to choose few that truly resonates with my heart for a brief and sweet taste of Ethiopian culture.
As culture and Art is a an inspiring marriage made in heaven, I choose to spend a little while at the podium of time honored and historical Ethiopian Playhouses in Addis Ababa presented at the cultural event.
Showcasing these Playhouse’s cherished and honored works of Art in glorification culture and tradition through Theatrical plays, traditional music and dance along with the traditional costumes, and the locally well-known Ethiopian musicians and artists that these Playhouses brings into fruition … through pictures and entertaining replicas.
Traditional costumes hanged up on a long rope like an ordinary everyday scene of a freshly cleaned laundry, be carried on the breeze outside under the blazing sun of Africa. But here, it is to showcase different kinds of traditional costumes from different ethnic groups of the country in all honoring CULTURE.
Little bit of Sidama from the southern part of the country, to experience the destination through the colorful traditional accessories. I found the happy colors and cozy details of this handmade everyday life ornaments of Sidama people is so up lifting. Culturally colorful!
Still standing at the little Sidama podium that I found here at cultural event in Addis Ababa, being all mesmerized by the colorfully decked traditional costume of Sidama Women. So culturally graceful!
From the many exotic Ethiopian traditional cuisines made up of culinary influence, fusion and with exotic touches of Ethiopia’s very own indigenous produces, I choose to put a spot light up on one of the regional delights from the sweet Dire Dawa – warmly embracing, town of sweet people from the eastern part of the country. Halwa and Mushebek for culturally sweet treat.
Hitting the great outdoors, it would not be complete without traditional music and dance embellished with traditional clothing in celebrating culture. From many exotic Ethiopian traditional music and dances, for now I pick two fascinating destinations within Ethiopia to experience through music and dance.
Transported to GOJJAM through the energetic rhythm and rhyme that can make you move your shoulders like Ethiopians.