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Ashenda / Shadey Festival

Ashenda or Shadey is a festival celebrated starting from August 23rd in the Ethiopian regions of Tigray and Northern Amhara. Ashenda marks the end of a two-week-long fast called “Tsome Fisleta” when adherents of Orthodox Christianity gather to honour the Virgin Mary. The name of the festival Ashenda comes from the name of tall grass that the girls make into a skirt and wear it around their waist as a decoration. The young women and girls dress the best traditional dresses called “Tilf” which is a cotton dress decorated with amazing embroidery from the neck to toe in front of the dress. The girls also adorn themselves with a wide array of beautiful jewellery.

This holiday has both religious and cultural importance. The girls and women of Northern Ethiopia await for this moment eagerly every year as it is a festival that young ladies enjoy music and dance.