Fekade Daniel

Come to the cradle of man kind and be seven years Younger!

Ethiopia's calendar is  based on the Julian counting system and is roughly 7 and half years behind the western Gregorian calendar.Thus 2014-15 is 2007 in Ethiopian calendar and 2008 begins in September 12 2015. The Julian calendar is named after Julius Caesar, and developed as a result of a dispute over the exact date of Christ's birth. Unlike Western Gregorian calendar Ethiopia's day coutning is made of 12 months of 30 days each and one month (known as 13th month; and how we got our name: 13 Suns Tours ) of five or six days in leap year. Hence we, 13 Suns Tours challenge you to visit Ethiopia, with 13 months of sun shine and feel seven years younger!

Modern sports has a history of over half a century in Ethiopia. Amid scores of popular sports, great distance running has a special place in Ethiopia. It is the sports activity that has made Ethiopia famous in the world of sports events.

The country's first Olympic game participation was recorded in 1956; Marathon and the Medalist was Called Abebe Bekila. What made his winning was that he ran bare footed. From that time on, Ethiopia except on 1976, 1984 and 1988 has been involved  in every Summer olympic games. Also on 2006 it took part in its first Winter Olympic game that was held in Turin.

Ethiopia's current status in the world of competitive events particularly in the field of distance running stands second at the Sydney Olympic Games and the Edmonton World Cup Marathon, where Ethiopians won the country a total of 50 medals, 20 of them gold. Though the ranking and number of medals have dropped significatly, Ethiopia has collected 7 medals of which 3 are Gold in the recent 2012 London Olympic.

Among the many renowned Athletes in the country, Haile Gebreselassie is the world's most fameous athlete. He has smashed world records 27 times.He was the record holder in 2000, 5000 and 10000 track and field and indoor track competitions. Winner of Jessie Owns Cup and Africa's best athlete; Haile is the winner in 3000, 5000 and 10000 meters international competitions that took place in Paris, Athens, Gruenberg, Henglo, Zurich, Oslo, Stockholm, Quatar and many more. Then the most accomplished runner called Kenenisa Bekele followed his foot step and reset the 10000m world record.

Fita Baissa, Assefa Mezgebu, Million wolde, Gezahagne Abera, Slishi Sehen and G/Egziyabehire G/Mariam are among the notables who won various competitions around the global.

And the female athletes list include, Derartu Tulu (Olympic record holder at sydeny) is a cross-country championship winner in Bulgaria, Holland and the States; Gete Wami and Fatuma Roba have also several success stories under their belts. They were successfully followed by Tirunesh Debaba, Meseret Defare and Genzebe Debaba.

This an acoount of a Japanese lady who has been on a visit to Ethiopia for slightly over a month when Herald people interviewed her. She shared to us her experience during her stay here in the Addis Ababa the excerpt of which follows:

HERALD- Would you, in short, tell us about your life and your background, please?

BERBERICH- My full name is Yuko Berberich from Japan. I was born in February 1955. Previously, I was a classical ballet dancer, the profession which I started when I was only six Years old. When I came here, I was attracted by the traditional dances of Ethiopia which I really love very much.

I am a member of Family World Federation for Peace. I always think about the global family, world peace and world harmony. I came here trying to bring about cultural exchange among the Ethiopian and the Japanese people.

Near the end of the tenth century CE an Agew (Agau) leader called Yodit (Gudit or Judith) brought the thousand–year predominance of the Aksumite kingship to a conclusion. She conquered their last king and attempted to exterminate the Christian religion. In Abyssinian traditional tales, she is known to be a great annihilator of churches contested only by Ahmed Gran (Grañ) some six centuries later.

Aksum’s foundation is suggested to be as early as 300 BCE. Very little is known of the time period between the mid-first millennium of BCE to the beginning of Aksum’s flourish, thought to be around the first century CE. There is little in common between the Aksumites and the earlier pre-Aksumite civilizations (Munro-Hay 1991, 4).

The Aksumite kingdom was located in the northern province of Tigray and there it remained the capital of Ethiopia until the seventh century CE. Aksum owes its prosperity to its location. The Blue Nile basin and the Afar depression are both within a close proximity of Aksum. The former is rich of gold and the latter of salt: both materials having a highly important use to the Aksumites. Aksum was also within an accessible distance to the port of Adulis, on the coast of the Red Sea, hence maintaining trade relations with other nations, such as Egypt, India, and Arabia. Aksum’s ‘fertile’ and ‘well-watered’ location produced enough food for its population as well as its exotic animals, such as elephants and rhinoceros (Pankhurst 1998, 22-3).

Most marriages among the Sodo Gurages are arranged. The parents shape and control the lives of their children, not just up to a certain age, but until the children are married and leave the parental home. They sit as counselors, judges and executors of their children’s interests. They choose, accept or refuse a spouse as they see fit.

Meskel (finding of the true cross) is a grand festival among the Sodo Gurage’s, which is lavishly celebrated and is called Adabna by the local people. Beginning Meskel until the seventh day, girls and boys sing and dance to the greatest of their happiness. It is on this occasion that the boy casts his eyes on the one that cleft his heart and whom he intends to be his future spouse. He follows her ins and outs and searches for her residential area.

Ethiopian Orthodox church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities (although Armenians would argue it). There are at least three separate bodies of Tawahedo church with their own administrations in Addis Ababa, Jerusalem and North America (also in Jamaica and Europe). Sometimes Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church is called Coptic, which is due to the fact that till the early fifties the head of Ethiopian church was selected in Alexandria, Egypt and this tradition was changed under Haile Sellassie. Before the revolution the numbers of Ethiopian clergy were big, since Orthodoxy is usually very vested in monastic order. They say that during the Red Terror (1975-78) over 200 thousands monks were executed in Ethiopia.

Queen of Sheba's Visit to King Solomon

Sheba is believed to have been Queen of Ethiopia and it is through her Ethiopian rulers claim royalty through her. The verses below refer to Sheba's visit to King Solomon in Isreal. The tale is retold in The Second Book of Chronicles, 8:18 (Pankhurst 16):

1 Kings 10, 1-13

[1] And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

[2] And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

Lalibela (c.1185-1225) is the most well known and marveled of all the Zagwe kings. He is credited for building the eleven famous rock-hewn churches in his capital city, known originally as Roha but renamed as Lalibela after his death (Prouty and Eugene 115-6). However, it should be stressed that Lalibela wasn’t the first to build rock-hewn churches; churches that date two centuries earlier were constructed in Tigray (Pankhurst 49).

Lalibela’s life is full of legends. It is believed that upon his birth, he was surrounded by a cloud of bees. Hence, his mother gave him the name Lalibela, which means, “the bees recognizes his sovereignty.” Also according to legend, he was commanded by God “to build ten monolithic churches (Henze 51).”

Bale Mountains National Park( 39o 43' East 6o 45' North) covers an area of about 247000 ha and is situated between 1500 and 4300 meters altitude. Bale Mountains National Park is on the south-east Ethiopian plateau. The zonal capital, Goba, is on the north-eastern side of the park. The park headquarters are on the northern border at Dinsho, 400 km by road from Addis Ababa.

The Bale mountains are formed of ancient volcanic rocks that are now dissected by rivers and streams that have cut deep gorges, in some places resulting in beautiful waterfalls. The mountains rise from the 2,500-m plateau to the west, north and east of the park. The Sanetti plateau, which dominates the northern section of the park, reaches 3,800–4,200 m on top of the mountain block, and is broken by several peaks including Tullu Deemtu (4,377 m), the highest mountain in southern Ethiopia and second-highest in the country.

Small lakes form in the numerous shallow depressions on the Sanetti plateau during the wet season. Larger, permanent lakes like Garba Guracha, Hora Bacha and Halla Wenz, are mostly found on the eastern side of the plateau.

The northern section of the park covers the valleys of the Web and Danka rivers. The northern highland block is separated from the Harenna forest by the spectacular Harenna escarpment that runs diagonally from west to east across the middle of the park.

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