Tankwa Ethiopia Tours

Shaday and Ashendye Festivity

shadeyShaday and Asendye are the traditional ceremony played by Wag Hemra and Lasta girls respectively-in and around Lalibela. These festivals have got their names from the type of grass, locally called Shaday and Ashenda, that grows in the respective locality in the rainy season and that the girls fasten on their waists while they play the festivity. Decorated in their cultural costumes, the girls play the game from August 24-29 every year.

Since the girls celebrate the festival only once a year, they always wait for it keen interest. The preparations for the festivity are started a month earlier. On the first day of the celebration, August 24, the girls wear traditional clothes; decorate their feet and neck with different ornaments, get their hair dressed, paint and beautify their eyes with antimony and get ready for the festivity.

Since these festivals have religious touch, the girls go to a nearby church and start the ceremony by spreading ‘Shaday’ and ‘Ashenda’ leaves in the compound and on the main gate of the church. Then, they go to different houses and sing and dance and blessed by the local elders and wished to come again next year.