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Fasika(ፋሲካ): The Eritrean and Ethiopian Easter

Posted by Kiflay Teweldebrhane on

Fasika: The Eritrean and Ethiopian Easter

Fasika (Ge’ez: ፋሲካ), also known as Tensae (Ge’ez: ትንሣኤ, “to rise”), is the word for Easter in Eritrea  and Ethiopia . This sacred occasion holds immense significance for the faithful, transcending denominational boundaries. Here are some key aspects of Fasika:

  1. Fasting and Preparation:

    • Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians observe a 55-day Lenten fast, mirroring Jesus’ own 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2).
    • During this period, believers abstain from meat, dairy, and animal products.
    • Good Friday marks the culmination of fasting, a day of solemn preparation for the joyous celebration ahead.
  2. Paschal Vigil and Resurrection:

    • The heart of Fasika lies in the Paschal Vigil held on Saturday night.
    • Churches come alive with sacred music and dancing, continuing until the early hours of Sunday morning.
    • At 3:00 a.m., everyone returns home to break their fast, symbolically sharing in the Lamb’s sacrifice.
    • A chicken is slaughtered at midnight, signifying the end of fasting.
    • On Easter Sunday, a sheep is sacrificed, initiating the festive feasting.
  3. The Near-Sacrifice of Isaac:

    • In Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Christianity, the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22) holds deep significance.
    • According to tradition, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac.
    • An angel intervened, and a lamb was provided for the sacrifice instead.
    • This Old Testament event foreshadowed God’s ultimate sacrifice—the sending of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for the world.
  4. Easter Joy and Celebration:

    • After the long period of fasting and reflection, Fasika is a day of release and celebration.
    • Families gather, feasts are prepared, and joy permeates the air.
    • The resurrection of Jesus—the triumph over death—is at the core of Orthodox and Ethiopian Evangelical theology.
    • Easter in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and their diaspora communities is a time of renewed faith, family bonds, and communal rejoicing. Easter celebration @Frey Restaurant in 24 hoe street, E17 4PH

Remember, Fasika is not just about historical events; it is a living expression of faith, hope, and the victory of light over darkness. 🌟🙏

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