Festivals and Celebrations
There are cultural, religious, historical and other celebrations and events in Hawassa that worth visiting. Most of cultural celebrations have astonishing south color in culture and ways of celebrations attributed to Hawassa as a capital of SNNPR region and heterogeneity of residents. These celebrations have remarkable audience and media coverage in the region and other areas. For details about festivals and celebration ifnrormation, please visit events page.
It is a New year celebration of Sidama people . It is annually celebrated in different parts of Sidama zone. In Hawassa it is celebrated in a place near Amora Gedel/ Fish Market called Gudumalle.
These are not the only celebrations as a carnival in the city, there are also events and celebrations organized by various organizations, individuals and government bodies.
Timkat-Feast of the Epiphany, 19 January
This is an extremely colourful three-day festival commemorating the baptism of Christ.The night before, priests take the Tabot (which symbolizes the Ark of the Covenant) containing the Ten Commandments from each Church. Concealed by an ornamental cloth, it is taken to a tent, close to a consecrated pool or stream, accompanied by much ringing of bells, blowing of trumpets and the burning of incense. In Addis Ababa many tents are pitched at Jan Meda, to the northeast of the city centre. At 0200 there is a Mass, and crowds attend, with picnics lit by oil lamps. At dawn the priest extinguishes a candle burning on a pole set in a nearby river using a ceremonial cross. Some of the congregation leap into the river. The Tabots are then taken back to the Churches in procession, accompanied by horsemen, while the festivities continue.
Bands of small boys call at each house, singing and jostling until they are given some fresh dough (buhe), that is being prepared for baking. In the evening, bonfires are lit outside each home.
Enkutatash -New Year, 11 September
This festival celebrates both the New Year and the Feast of John the Baptist at the end of the long rains in Spring, when the Highlands become covered in wild flowers. Children dressed in new clothes dance through the villages, distributing garlands and tiny paintings. In the evening every house lights a bonfire and there is singing and dancing.
Maskal- Finding of the True Cross, 27 September
Legend has it that the cross upon which Christ was crucified was discovered in the year 326 by Empress Helen, Mother of Constantine the Great. Unable to find the Holy Sepulchre, she prayed for help and was directed by the smoke of an incense burner to where the cross was buried.
Feast of St Gabriel, 28 December
St Gabriel is the Patron Saint who guards over homes and churches. There is a huge pilgrimage to St Gabriel's Church in Hawassa.
Exhibitions and Bazaars
Having Exhibitions and bazaars in Hawassa, means reaching the majority of south based organizations, regional officials and others who re majorly related with the region. The other attractive feature of having celebrations and events in Hawassa is that, it is enjoyable especially in weekends with significant number of local and foreign tourists visiting events. Exhibitions and bazaars are common in Hawassa.