A land of the mystics and religion, of rich tradition and ethnic culture, the land of festivities and antiquity, of lively people with a vibrant lifestyle. The Ethiopian people constitute a multi-ethnic group with several tribes and conglomerations living in different parts of the country. The Amhara, the Shankella and the Cushitic Oromo are the chief ethnic groups engaged in a variety of activities and occupations. However, delving deep into the traditions of the Ethiopian people, one will get awestruck to behold the variety in culture and lifestyle existing amidst approximately eighty different groups, each upholding the spirit of their religion in a striking way.
Religion forms a significant aspect in the lives of the Ethiopian people and this is greatly reflected in the everyday lifestyle of these tribes. Christianity and Islam are two religions followed by majority of the population. Priests in flowing robes, instilling the minds of the Ethiopian people with religious preaching and words of God are a prevalent aspect of their lifestyle. The Gondar region of the country also houses a certain group of people following the Jewish tradition called the $”Falashas$”.
Religion and festivals go hand in hand in the lifestyle of the Ethiopian people. The Ethiopians are a sprightly lot,
celebrating every occasion with zeal and zest, whether it is the extolling of some important historical landmarks, commemorating special days in the family or exalting a religious festival. Some of the significant festivals include the Timket, Idd al-Fitr, Christmas, Meskel, Enkutatash, Id and Easter, each of which are observed with the spirit of gaiety, singing and dancing donning bright hued clothes and ornaments.
The lifestyle of the Ethiopian people is generally based on agriculture and the main occupations comprise farming, herding, cattle-breeding, fishing etc. The Cushitic Oromo, Somalis and Afar are a pastoral lot and are extremely hard-working, striving for survival in some of the most hostile areas of the country. Their staple food encompasses the Injera, bread obtained from the teff grain and stew or wat made of myriad vegetables. Christian festivals are observed without the consumption of meat from midnight till 3pm. If you happen to be present at any festival of the Ethiopian people, they will embrace you by serving Tej or Honey Wine, another very prominent aspect of their lifestyle.