Happy Ashenda 2020

Ashenda, also called Ashendeye, Shadey, Solel, is a cultural festival celebrating in northern Ethiopia among Orthodox Christianity followers. It is typically celebrated between 16–26 August every year. Its length varies from three days to one month depending on the locale.

Ashenda is a unique traditional festival celebrated in northern Ethiopia that is exclusively for girls and young women. “Ashenda” is the name of a tall grass found in the country that the revelers use to embellish their celebration gowns.

Ashenda is an annual cultural celebration associated with northern Ethiopia especially the Tigray and Amhara regional states. The girls and young women who the festival is for, adorn themselves in dresses called ‘Tilfi’ which is a cotton dress ornamented on the front with amazing embroidery from the neck to toe. They also wear their hair in the braided styles that have been developed for ages and ornament themselves in jewelry and Ashenda grass.

The length of the festival that usually takes place between August – September, varies from three days to one month depending on where in the region it is; shorter in urban areas, longer in rural areas.

According to a local publication, the women and girls gather in a central place where they divide themselves into smaller groups before going house to house to sing, dance, and entertain the people of their community.

Customarily people give them gifts in the form of money, food, and drinks. This goes on an entire day and throughout the festival period. To close the celebrations the women and girls convene in a central area to drum, dance, sing and socialize