Ethiopia imprisons about 150 during Irreechaa celebrations

7 Oct

By OPride

At least 150 arrested and one man died as hundreds of thousands flocked to Bishoftu, Oromia, in south central Ethiopia on Sept. 30 to mark the annual Irreechaa celebration.

Bishoftu, a small town 50 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, has become the site of Irreechaa, one of the premier Oromo traditional holidays. Eretcha marks the end of a dark rainy season in the tropics and the beginning of blossom harvest at the dawn of spring (Birraa).

Last Sunday, as spectators and pilgrims, mostly youth, made their way down the narrow asphalt road that leads to Lake Arasadi, the final destination of Irreechaa pilgrimage, regional police closed off all roads to traffic, eyewitnesses told OPride.

Eretcha is to Oromos what Thanksgiving is for Americans. “We celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqaa for the blessings and mercies we have received throughout the past year,” writes Waaqefanna.org.

Read the full story in Opride
 
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