A Big Fat Ethiopian Wedding

By Samrawit Tamyalew

It’s January in Ethiopia and you know what that means – wedding season! Unlike the US, where wedding season is in the summer, in Ethiopia, it is at the beginning of the year to precede fasting season. Many Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia partake in a two month fast prior to Easter, which usually starts in February. They are vegan for those two months, which means they cannot eat meat–a large part of celebratory feasts. I was fortunate enough to attend a wedding within two days of landing.

Because of the communal culture, I went to the wedding of my father’s best friend’s niece who I have never met, and it was amazing.

I have attended Ethiopian weddings in the U.S., but they were the same as American weddings except with different music, (hundreds) more guests, and a much longer ceremony. I had the opportunity to learn so much about our culture from this six-hour event.

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