Religious Festivals

Religion is an integral part of Ethiopian life and culture and is celebrated with impressive ceremonies, traditional dress, music and dancing providing a blanket of colorful expression across the country.

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Land and Climate

Ethiopia covers an area of 1,104,300 km2, making it the tenth largest country in Africa, for the sake of comparison, Ethiopia covers approximately twice the area of Kenya or the state of Texas and five times the area of the united kingdom or Newzeland of other African countries, it is closest in size to south Africa, roughly 7500 km2 of Ethiopia’s surface area is water. Out of 65 percent arable land, only 15 percent is presently cultivated. The unique Ethiopian plateau, covers above half of the total area is cut by The Great East African rift valley. It ranges from 100 meters below sea level in the Dallol Depression of Afar, to mountain peaks of over 4000 meters above sea level in Semien Mountains. The highest peaks are Ras Dashen in the Semien and Batu in the Bale mountains.
The Rift Valley separates the western and the eastern highlands; and these highlands gradually descend to the lowland areas in the east, west, and south of the country.

Much of the country consists of high plateau and mountain ranges, which are dissected by numerous streams and rivers. Among the biggest river basins are Blue Nile, Awash, Baro, Omo, Tekkeze, Wabe Shebelle and Genale.

Ethiopia shows a wide climatic variation, ranging from the peaks of Bale, which receive periodic snowfall, to regular daytime temperatures of over 50oc in the Danakil Desert. As a rule, the central highlands have a temperate climate and average daytime temperature of 16o c, belying their proximity to the equator. The eastern lowlands and the far sough are dry and hot. The western lowlands are moist and hot, making them the one part of the country that feels truly tropical. The southern Rift Valley, much of which lies at the relatively high altitude of 1500m, is temperate to hot and seasonally moist.

The precipitation pattern in the northern and central highlands is that the bulk of the rain falls between mid June and early October. This pattern changes as you head further south: the rainy season in the Rift Valley generally starts and ends a few weeks earlier than in the highlands, while in south Omo of the rain falls in March, April and May, and other parts of the south have two rainy seasons, falling either side of the highland’s rainy season from July to September. Contrary to popular perceptions, most highland parts of Ethiopia receive a healthy average annual rainfall figure, with the far west being particularly moist – indeed much of the southwest receives an average annual rainfall in excess of 2000mm.The climate in Ethiopia is mainly influenced by altitude and the main climatic regions are the following:-

  • Dega (cool to cold temperature)
    this is typical of the cool highlands where average temperature falls between 10°C and 16°C. The altitude is above 2500 meters above sea level.
  • Weina Dega (warm to cool climate)
    Average annual temperature ranges between 16°C and 20°C and comprises much of the highlands between 1,500 to 2,500 meters above sea level.
  • Kolla (warm to hot climate)
    This is the climate of the hot lowlands, and the average temperature is between 20°C to 30°C. The altitude ranges from 500 to 1,500 meters above sea level.
  • Bereha (Hot and arid climate)
    This covers the area of the desert lowlands below 500 meters above sea level and the average annual temperature is over 30°C.

There are two distinct seasons in Ethiopia, the dry season which is for the most part from October to May (mostly winter season in Europe) and rainy season from June to September (summer season in Europe.) 


Ethiopia, the ancient Christian kingdom, richest historical and cultural heritage in sub-Saharan Africa,



Climatic variations and the isolated forbidding nature of her highlands have made Ethiopia a unique habitat



Culturally Southern Ethiopia is extraordinarily rich with some 45 languages spoken by people of