ASHENDA / ኣሸንዳ

ASHENDA / ኣሸንዳ

Tigrai, Ethiopia - View on map

Ashenda (Tigrinya: ኣሸንዳ) is an annual festival celebrated in Tigray. Its festival is celebrated in August. It is a major event for Tigray people all over the world, particularly Tigrayan women. Tigrayan women and girls as young as 7 wait for this Girls' Day festival all year. The name "Ashenda" came from the Tigrinya word for tall green grass, estimated at around 80–90 cm minimum height, that the girls make into a skirt and to wear around the waist as a decoration. In the tradition of this religious festival, blades of grass are strewn on the floors of homes and shops as a kind of welcome mat. The holiday started as a cultural one, but evolved into a religious one celebrated by girls of all religious backgrounds. Its orign can be traced to ancient Israel as a common waythat Hebrew women celebrated their holidays, victory, heros (Exodus 15:20) After the introduction of Christianity into Ethiopia in the 4th century AD, the celebration began to have religious tone and merged with Christian beliefs. Those celebrating it now see it as a commemoration of the heavenly ascension of the Virgin Mary following her Dormition, a feast called Filseta. It is typically celebrated between 16 and 26 August every year. Recently, the festival has grown in popularity and is being adopted in parts of Ethiopia and even Eritrea.

Event Type

  • Field Day
  • Glastonbury
  • Green Man
  • Boomtown
  • Wilderness
  • Exit Festival
  • Primavera Sound