Addis Ababa October 1/2015 /ENA/ The Irreechaa Festival, Oromo Thanksgiving tradition is crucial in terms of creating bonds among various communities in the country, participants of the festival said.

The celebration of the annual Irreechaa festival has been colorfully celebrated in Addis Ababa with people coming out with colorful traditional outfits—drawn from different corners of the country.  

The participants explained that celebration of Irreechaa has many wonderful, cultural and social values that need to be further developed.      

Gamada Mohamed who is from Alaba Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region, who attended at the festival for the 4th times, said that the festival has a great role in strengthening the unity of ethnic groups, bringing them together to celebrate the festival.

“Nations and nationalities may have their own culture, but what makes this festival special is the process where different ethnicities come together and get to know each other and cherish the festival in unity and peace. It is a festival that embraces all, fostering peaceful coexistence and a family bond,” he said.

Birhanu Isra is another participant from Wondo Genet, Sidama Region, on his part said that the festival strengthens unity and tolerance and we need to respect the culture of each other.

“We should celebrate festivals like this to strengthen our national unity. When we celebrate the celebration of each of us, we become one,” he said.

Muluken Gemechu who also came from the same region on his part said that since Irrechaa preaches about peace and love, we always come and enjoyed the festival.

“We know to what extent we endured difficulties due to lack of peace. So Irreechaa festival promotes peace and strengthen unity of the people, it has a crucial role to strengthen social cohesion.”

Irreechaa marks the end of the rainy season and the start of the harvest season with people giving thanks to Waaqa (God) at the beginning of spring (Birraa) after a long dark rainy season.

Irreechaa is the annual Thanksgiving day of the Oromo people which is celebrated annually by the last week of September.

According to the Oromo tradition, “Irreechaa” itself, means ‘green and fresh grass’ that symbolizes fertility and flourishing life due to the blessing and guidance of the Creator, Waaqaa.

People gather around river banks and lakesides to pay homage to Waqaa (God) for passing the rainy season and bring the sunny season.

Despite the main spot of the festival in Addis Ababa and Bishoftu town, the festival is colorfully celebrated in many parts of the Oromia region.

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