Ethiopia Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Ethiopia: holidays, climate

Date Holiday
January 7 Genna (Ethiopian Christmas)
January February Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany)
February March Eid al-Adha
2nd March Day of the Battle of Adowa
March April Easter
April 6 Ethiopian Victory Day
1st of May Labor Day
5th of May May Day (Victory Day)
April May Mouloud (Prophet’s Birthday)
28th of May National holiday
September 11 Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Years Day)
September 27 Maskal Day (Finding the True Cross)
November December Eid-al-Fitre (end of Ramadan).

Source: Countryaah – Ethiopia Holidays

The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the feast day Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid-al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitre last 2-10 days, depending on the region.

In addition, the Julian calendar applies in Ethiopia, which has 12 months with 30 days each and a month with 5 or 6 days at the end of the year. This calendar is about 7 years and 8 months behind our calendar.


The climate in Ethiopia differs essentially within two areas, namely the highlands and the lowlands.


In the highlands it is warmer than in the lowlands. The average daytime temperatures in the highlands from October to January are 26 °C. They rise to over 30 °C by March and drop to 23 °C by July. At night they fluctuate between 12 and 13 °C from July to February. They rise to 16 °C by April. Rainfall can reach 1,800 mm per year, most of which falls between July and early September.


It is coldest here in July with average daily temperatures of around 24 °C. Over the course of the year, temperatures rise continuously until they reach a high of 32 °C in February. At night, temperatures stay between 16-18 ° C all year round. There are two small rainy seasons from March to June and from October to December, but in total there is only about 500 mm of rainfall.

Ethiopia – UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Fortified old town of Harar Jugol

The holy city of Harar Jugol is located in the east of the country on a plateau in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by savannah and desert.

The city with more than 80 mosques and numerous shrines, some of which date from the 13th century, is one of the centers of the Islamic religion.

The interior of the houses in Harar is unusual for the time and is particularly noteworthy. Although the majority of the Christian faith is represented in Ethiopia, the strong influence of original Islamic culture can be found in the historic city complex of the Harari House. However, the establishment of the complex is predicted to be the 7th century BC. Dated. The fortified old town of Harar Jugol has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.

Konso cultural landscape

The Konso cultural landscape in Ethiopia south of Lake Abaya, in which the Konso ethnic group lives, consists of terraced fields. The densely built-up areas are protected from animals by high stone walls. The places and the surrounding area are decorated with wooden stelae. These steles often represent fighting, famous warriors with large headdresses.

The national dish Kurkufa of Konso is made from the leaves of the cabbage tree. The Konso cultural landscape was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2011.

Fasil Ghebbi in the Gondar region

Fasil Ghebbi is a fortified city in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was the residence of the Ethiopian emperor Fasilidas, who lived here especially during the rainy season and had a palace built with four corner towers and a large representation hall.

A 900 m long fortress wall surrounds the city, which is located at an altitude of around 2,210 m. In the diverse buildings you can see Hindu and Arab influences, and even baroque elements that were brought here by Jesuit missionaries.

The city was badly damaged by British air raids in 1941. The ruins have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

Rock-hewn churches of Lalibela

The eleven multi-storey churches at an altitude of over 2,600 m were carved into the red basalt lava in the 11th and 12th centuries. Paintings, frescoes and manuscripts have largely been preserved in their original form and represent evidence of the oldest Christian state in the world.

The churches are up to 10 m high and have an area of around 800 m². The churches are still visited by pilgrims today:

  1. In the north are the churches: Bet Medhane Alem, the Lalibela Cross is kept in this church. It is connected to the oldest church of Lalibela Bet Maryam and the church of Bete Golgotha, rich in works of art, and the Selassie chapel.
  2. In the west stands the Bet Giyorgis Church, it is the best preserved church.

3 In the east are the churches: Bet Amanuel Church and the Bete Merkorios Church, which probably served as a prison, as well as the Bete Abba Libanos and Bete Gabriel-Rufael.

The Ashetan Maryam Monastery and the 11th century Yimrehane Kristos Church are also nearby.

The rock-hewn churches have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.

Simien National Park

The Simien National Park is located in the north of Ethiopia. Its area is 179 km². Its mountain landscape is particularly impressive. The highest point, the Ras Daschan Terarain, in the park is over 4,500 m high and it is also the highest mountain in Ethiopia.

Numerous endangered animal species live in the park, such as the Ethiopian ibex, the Ethiopian wolf and the jelada – a baboon.

The park was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 1978.

Relief steles from Tiya

Of the 36 steles of Tiya, 32 steles have relief decorations, including human-like figures and tools, many other decorations could not yet be interpreted. The steles are up to 5 m high, are anchored vertically in the ground and were often used as gravestones in ancient times.

The exact age of the steles is not known, but they are evidence of an ancient Ethiopian culture. The relief steles of Tiya have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

Ruins of Aksum

In the former royal city of the first Ethiopian kingdom there are still 119 ancient steles and 11 more in the surrounding area. Some of the richly decorated obelisks are over 2000 years old.

The most important of these, the 2500 year old “Obelisk from Aksum”, was brought to Rome in 1937 under Mussolini. When the three sections of the 150-tonne and 24-meter-high basalt obelisk were transported back, an extensive underground city of the dead from pre-Christian times was discovered in the immediate vicinity of the original location.

The ruins of Aksum have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

Valley on the lower reaches of the Awash River

In 1974 about 52 remains of a skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis were found, which, after being reconstructed, was given the name Lucy. Lucy lived about 3.5 million years ago.

The earlier finds in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania were well over a million years younger than this spectacular find. In 1993, more fossils were found near Lucy’s place of discovery that are another million years older than Lucy. In 2000, a 3.3 million year old skeleton was found. Finds of plant and animal fossils provide information about the appearance of the Awash Valley millions of years ago.

The valley on the lower reaches of the Awash River has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

Valley on the lower reaches of the Omo River

The Omo River flows in the southwest of the country and is 760 km long. The Omo runs over water all year round. Its source is west of Addis Ababa and east of Nek’emte in the highlands of Ethiopia.

The Wolliso medicinal spring is located near the spring. Many different tribes live along the Omo. On the lower reaches of the river, the valley is of particular importance, here fossils of Homo sapiens, which are some of the oldest finds of this type with an age of around 195,000 years, were found. The Omo National Park has an area of 4,000 km² and is the largest in Ethiopia.

Numerous wild animals are at home here.

The valley on the lower reaches of the Omo River has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

About the author