Genna Festival (Ethiopian Christmas) in Lalibela

4 Days

Overview

Genna is Ethiopian Christmas, and coincides with other Orthodox Christmas celebrations around the world. The feast marks the end of the 40-days fasting period of advent. On Christmas Eve, the faithful participate in church services through the night before celebrating with family and friends on Christmas day. The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna, and many followers go to Church on Christmas day. Many people fast (deprive themselves from any meal) on Christmas Eve (January 6th), and at dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white, with many of them wearing a traditional garment called a shemma. It’s a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly-colored stripes across the end, worn a bit like a toga.

Lalibela is the most popular place to celebrate Genna, as thousands of pilgrims flock to the holy city for this celebration.

Itinerary

Fly to Lalibela and take the airport shuttle transfer to the Town (40minute) and visit the rock hewn churches of Lalibela.

After checking at your Hotel we will drive to one of the best market of the year, over 150,000 people will gather in the market to buy and exchange things.

After Lunch: with 4×4 Drive to YemrehaneKirstos(2hur) visit the marble churches called Yimrhannekirstos, which predates the Lalibela churches and was built using a completely different style of construction involving marble and wood. The church is built inside a cave. Pass through different villages and learn about local crops on different plateaus, specular view till your reach the church. return to Lalibela.

After diner around 10:00pm we will go to St. Marry church to attending the colorful Gena eve ceremony, we will stay at the church as long as you wish. Overnight hotel

The special hymen of the day is known as BezaKullu (literally it means the Redeemer of all) dancers, systra in their hands and singing the hymns of the holiday. Sway all together from north to south to the rhythm of the big drams. The dance is said to symbolize the praise made by the angels and shepherds at the night of Christmas. The chanters on the top of the courtyard (the surrounding trench) represent the angels of the haven and those at the bottom symbolize the shepherds of Bethlehem.

After breakfast drive to the site where we find a concentration of some of Ethiopians most famous Rock Hewn churches, mostly referred by many as the living wonders of the world, this churches are, they have been here for at list 900 years, an active christen shrine, the spiritual center of the counters religious life. The monolithic churches where carved out of 2600-sq natural rock terrace in the twelve century AD by king lalibela.

BeteMedhanialem, the largest monolithic Rock hewn churches of the world, Magers 37.7 ft in Height, covers an area of almost 2625 Square ft and has walls that are up to 6 feet thick. A plain building supported by 36 pillars on the inside and anther 38 pillars around the outside. BjteMedhanialem modeled on the original st.Merryzion church build by king Ezana in 4th century at axum.

The Rock hewn churchs that we will visit today before lunch will be the first group of churches included: BeteMedhanialem, Bete Mariam, BeteMeskel, BeteDenagl and BeteGologota Michal

After lunch we will continue our journey in To Ethiopians long and marvellous past with a visit to other sent Lalibela Remarkable churches. There architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed.

The Rock Hewn Churches that we will visit this afternoon the second group of churches and St, Gorge it included: BeteGebral, BeteMerquros, BeteEmanule, Betelehiam ,Bete Aba Libanos and BeteGhiorgis .

Once we finished visiting the second group of churches and we will walk to the village so the complex bewildering labyrinth of underground Tunnels to the monastery where the monks and nuns live. Overnight hotel

After early Breakfast trek to visit the monastery church of Asheten Maryam (3150m). Ashtenmariam monastery located 2:00hur walk from Lalibela, enjoy the spectacular view starting you left the town, Ashetenmariamwas the first church of king lalibela but Lalibela didn’t finished the church it was completed by his nephew and successor king Nakutelab. The church has ancient sculptures. After you visit the church walk to the near hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the area.

After a short break Trek more 1:30 hur to lalibelahudad Eco lodge 3300m positioned to take in 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside. Pass through different villages and crops on different plateaus as you climb higher. Have your lunch at the LalibelaHudad Eco lodge and spend the reminder of the afternoon watching black Ghelada baboons grazing, plant of bird life and mountain hyrax…Etc

Let in the afternoon, in another direction return back to Lalibela 2:00hur on the way we will have a stop in the Local village to learn about the life of the local people including farming practices, cattle rearing and local traditions or walk to the children’s school to teach any subject you would like to teach. Overnight hotel

After breakfast we will drop you at the airport for your flight to addis abeba.

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Genna Festival (Ethiopian Christmas) in Lalibela