On January 1st, the twins turned 9 months old (!). As of today they have now been with us for exactly 4 months and 3 weeks...one week longer than they have been with anyone else. We have now been the longest, most consistent presence in their lives as of this week. That is just a crazy thought. Every day is something new, and today the new thing for all of us is Ganna, Ethiopian Christmas.
Even though we live in Little Ethiopia, I didn't know much about Ganna so naturally I turned to the all-knowing Google and found this... excerpts below...
Christmas is a major holiday in Ethiopia. More than half of the population of Ethiopia is Orthodox Christian. The celebration occurs on January 7, the Feast of the Epiphany, instead of December 25...
On Christmas Eve, January 6, the city is crowded with pilgrims and tourists from all parts of the world. The people remain outdoors all night, praying and chanting. On January 7, the Ethiopian Christmas known as Ganna is celebrated. The word Ganna is used interchangeably with the word Christmas, to mean the birth of Jesus Christ (leddat). This celebration takes place in ancient churches carved from solid volcanic rock of that day and also in more modern churches that are designed in three concentric circles. Men and boys sit separately from the girls and women. People receive candles as they enter their church. After lighting the candles, everyone walks around the church three times, and then they all stand throughout the church service which may last up to three hours. After the service, the rest of the day is spent dancing, playing sports and feasting.
The preparation of the feast is an important part of the day in Ethiopia. A typical Ethiopian feast for the Christmas meal includes a main course, such as doro wat ( a spicy chicken stew), injera bread (Which is a flat round bread) and homemade wine or beer. The injera bread is used to scoop and eat the food, thereby replacing ordinary utensils.
The twins are sick sickies right now, with horrible snotty colds, so I'll be honest, I haven't put much thought into how we would celebrate Ganna. Luckily, Mimi's mom did so later tonight we'll wander over to our favorite Ethiopian restaurant and will at least get to give everyone Happy New Year and Melkam Gena hugs. But next year, I'm going to pay attention to this article and we'll have a proper celebration!
I wish I had more energy to tell you just how happy I'm feeling today...even with snot all over me, the thought that our babies are asleep in the next room, oblivious to the fact that tonight they will see all their friends, makes me smile.
More late, I promise. Melkam Gena to everyone!