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Ashenda Tigrai Festival 2019 colorfully celebrated throughout Tigrai state, Ethiopia

It is about time for Tigrai people to preserve and protect their rich cultural heritage at any cost, it is not only about culture and history, it is also about economy.

Tigrai Online , August 23, 2019

Ashenda festival should be registered as religious and cultural festival of the Tigrai people.

Ashenda Festival 2019 colorfully celebrated throughout Tigrai thaousands pour in to Mekelle the capital city of Tigrai. Ashenda is a unique Tigraian traditional festival also known as a Ashenda Tigrai which takes place in August to mark the ending of fasting called filseta Mariam. Filseta Mariam is a week of fasting by the Orthodox Christian Tigraians and other Ethiopians who adhere to Orthodox Christian faith.

Ashenda Festival is mostly for girls and young women, which they await very eagerly every year. It is unique to the people of Tigrai in northern Ethiopia. The name of the festival "Ashenda" comes from the name of a tall grass that the girls make in to a skirt and wore it around their waist as a decoration.

Ashenda Tigrai festival’s roots are religious, but after thousands of years being celebrated in Tigrai now the festival is an integral part of the Tigrai people culture. The religious and cultural aspects of Ashenda festival are completely intertwined.

There is a proposal by the Ethiopian government to register Ashenda Tigrai as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO. As an idea it is a great idea, but we Tigraians all over the world especially the learned once, the Tigrai government and Tigrai historians should pay a great attention under whose ownership Ashenda Tigrai will be registered in UNESCO. For example Fiche Chamballala is registered in UNESCO in the following manner, Fichee-Chambalaalla, New Year festival of the Sidama people. Although not yet registered with UNESCO, the Irreessa festival will be registered as a thanksgiving holiday of the Oromo People. Just like the two festivals mentioned above Ashenda festival should be registered as religious and cultural festival of the Tigrai people.


The grave robbers of Africa, the chauvinist extremist Amhara elites have been riding on the back of the Tigrai people for the past hundred years lying to the world, to the Ethiopian people and the Amhara people claiming they were the founders of the Axumite civilization and all history, culture and heritage belonged to them. Last year one of the leaders of NAMA an Amhara nationalist organization said on public television as everything in this universe respects its creation, Ethiopia should respect or worship its creators the Amhara people.

The arrogance in the above mentioned statement is so stupid it is distasteful to repeat it. Amhara extremists wanted to claim what belongs to Tigrai without showing a shred of evidence because they have one thing in common with the people of Tigrai, the Orthodox Christian Church which happens to be first accepted, nurtured, and spread by Tigraians in east Africa. Now they are saying they share the Ashenda festival with the people of Tigrai which is absolute fabrication and falsehood yet another attempt to misappropriate a unique and distinct Tigraian cultural heritage. We the people of Tigrai are aware their intention and will fight tooth and nail to the last point to block the shameless facsimile wannabe Tigrai Amhara extremists.


Ahenda girls in Tigrai

Ashenda festival is a unique Tigraian traditional festival also known as a Ashenda Tigrai which takes place from August to September.


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