Addis Ababa October 01/2017 Preserving the values of the Irrecha festival, which is an emblem for peace, unity, and love among the Oromo people, has paramount importance for the sustainability of the age-long practices.
Participants whom ENA has interviewed said the event should not been used to express political views and affiliations.
Irrecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo, was celebrated colorfully on Sunday at Lake Hora Arsedi in the resort town of Bishoftu with the presence of people drawn from across the country.
People dressed up in their cultural clothes gathered at Lake Hora Arsedi early on the morning to attend the celebration.
Temesgen Butuji who came from Ambo to celebrate the day said that Irrecha is the identification of the Oromo culture, characterized by unity, and peace.
He urged the need to preserve these values, as the Oromo people gather at the place to express their gratitude to God and pray for unity, love, and harvest in abundance.
In this regard, he urged the youth to keep the values and culture of the Oromo, which their ancestors have handed over to them.
The current practices by the youth in using the event to express political views and affiliation would spoil the values, he said.
Another attendant, Dhugo Feyessa said “Irrecha festival is a special day whereby all the people came together to thank God in unison with a peaceful and loving manners”.
“I strongly condemn the attitude of expressing political view and interest during the celebration, when the right way is to demonstrate peace and unity, as per the advices of the elderly”, he stressed.
Noting that Irrecha is a day marked to thank and pray for love, peace and unity full-heartedly as inherited from the ancestors, he said some of the practices are contrary to the culture of the Oromo.
For Firomsa Birhanu, participant of the festival, Irrecha serves as an event for reconciliation, in addition to thanksgiving.
However, few individuals attempted to ruin the main pillars of the festival by using the event for their personal interests.
Every year, the Oromo people gather in Bishoftu to mark the end of the months-long rainy season, thank God for everything and wish for the future.
Addis Ababa October 01/2017 The Irrecha festival of the Oromo people celebrated colorfully at the resort town of Bishoftu, 42km south-east of Addis Ababa.
Wearing traditional clothes, devotees who have been arriving at the town since Saturday, gathered at Lake Hora Arsedi, where the celebration takes place, since 5 am in the morning.
Led by the Aba Gedaas, leaders of the traditional social stratification system of the Oromo, the devotees expressed gratitude for Waqqa (God) at the lake side.
The Aba Gedaas carried out the rituals in offering prayers in thanksgiving for the past and wishing the best for the future as well as blessing the crowd gathered for the festival.
The Oromo practices Irrecha as a thanksgiving celebration twice a year (in autumn and spring) to praise Waaqa (God) for peace, health, fertility and abundance they have gained.
The autumn ritual takes place every year in Bishoftu at Lake Horsede to celebrate the end of the rainy season either at the end of September or beginning of October.
The other festival takes in May at the top of mountains to mark the end of the dry season and the onset of rainy season.