Girls ‘assert independence’ at Ethiopia Virgin Mary festival

9c6d0dab-a247-44ce-abe8-a1698503cbccSource: BBC News

By Girmay Gebru

The heavy rains in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region have not deterred thousands of girls from taking part in the annual Ashenda festival, which celebrates the Virgin Mary. It gives girls carte blanche to sing and dance over the three-day celebration.

At the eve of the festival, which first started centuries ago, girls plait their hair in an elaborate design called Ga’me and head to the market, where they buy necklaces and other traditional cosmetics.

The girls also gather Ashenda grass from the riverside. Ashenda means “the tall green grass” in the region’s language, Tigrinya, and gives the festival its name.

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Categories: Africa, The Muslim Times, Women

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