Daily Archives: September 20, 2019

Irreechaa Celebration to be Held in Melbourne, Australia

By Maatii Sabaa

(Melbourne, Irreechaa, September 20, 2019)-The Oromia Irreechaa Organising Committee in Victoria is preparing to celebrate Irreechaa in Melbourne on 29th September.

Head of the Committee, Ob Abdeta Homa said the celebration is to strengthen and promote and Oromo culture, particularly the Irreechaa celebration in Melbourne.

Irreechaa is the annual Oromo people Thanksgiving Day that is celebrated every year in Birraa near the river bank or water and tree.

Irreechaa is celebrated every year in the end of September or beginning of October in various part of the globe where the Oromo community resides.

The celebration in Melbourne will be held in the context of the country while cultural values of the Irreechaa celebration are maintained.

The Irreechaa would be celebrated by all Oromos regardless of difference in religion, region and gender to celebrate and promote the identity of the Oromo people.

Irreechaa is the celebration of peace, unity and cooperation where the celebrants carrying bunch of straw and daisies in their hands praising, blessing and praying Waaqa in their songs.

The Irreechaa festival is celebrated every year at the beginning of Birraa (Spring), new season after the dark and rainy winter season.

The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa not only to thank Waaqaa (God) but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter season associated with nature and creature.

Irreechaa in Exile

Irreechaa is not only practiced among the Oromo in Oromia. As hundreds of the Oromo are in exile for different reasons, their culture, religion, language and identity also exiled with them. Thus, Irreecha is celebrated in Oromia and around the world where diaspora Oromos live especially, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Australia, South Africa, Europe and North America.

“Because Irreechaa has a cultural ambiance in connecting the people to Oromo land and the creator, Waaqa, it still remained as strong element of connection between the Oromo in diaspora and home – Oromia,” Ob Abdeta said.

In the past ten years or so, the Oromo across different parts of the world (from Toronto to Melborne and Bergen to Johannesburg) have come together and celebrated Irreechaa as a common icon of their identity.

If anything could be mentioned in bridging the differences (political and religious) within Oromo in the diaspora, Irreechaa has become the major binding force not as a mere cultural or religious practice but for its conjoint constitution of culture and identity.

Currently, Irreechaa has got publicity among the non-Oromos (Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians alike) to the extent that city administrations in different countries recognized the celebration and granted the Oromo with the spaces for the ritual.

Irreechaa brings people closer

On Irreechaa festivals, friends, family, and relatives gather together and celebrate with joy and happiness. Irreechaa festivals bring people closer to each other and make social bonds.

Moreover, the Oromo people celebrate this auspicious event to mark the end of rainy season, known as Ganna, was established by Oromo forefathers, in the time of Gadaa Melbaa in Mormor, Oromia.

The auspicious day on which this last Mormor Day of Gadaa Belbaa – the Dark Time of starvation and hunger- was established on the 1st Sunday of last week of September or the 1st Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar has been designated as National Thanksgiving Day by modern-day Oromo people.

Irreechaa celebrations as a means of promoting Oromummaa

According to the Irreechaa Organising Committee, all Oromos in Victoria are expected to take part in the celebration.

“What a wonderful time we had on a cooler than typical spring day in 2019 enjoying all that the Irreechaa Festival presented, Ob Abdeta Homa added.

After many years’ unseen events, the first national Irreechaa Festival was held in 1991 in Oromia, East Africa and later became an annual event, which now runs for five weeks, and is one of the most pleasant reminders in Oromia that spring has definitely sprung!

“Here in Australia, Melbourne, we continue this fabulous event every year since 2009.

“The celebrations are unique in that the Melbourne celebration has come again and that contributes to the development of Oromummaa in the Diaspora,” Ob Abdeta said.

In the traditional religion of the Oromos, the spirit is the power through which Waaqaa  (The Almighty God) governs all over the world. Thus, Oromos believe that every creation of Waaqaa has its own spirit.

Thanks to God for all the blessing

This festival is a spectacular show of cultural, historical and natural beautification in their full glory at the height of the season. It has spawned somewhat of a science of knowing just when the blooms will peak at blooms and decline, depending on the wind, rain, and sunshine they get.

Now it is the beginning of 2019 Irreechaa celebrations, the premier holiday of the Oromo people marks the end of the dark-rainy season and the beginning of a blossom harvest season.

It is in Oromo tradition to gather at the river banks and lakes shores to give thanks to the almighty Waaqaa for all the blessings throughout past years and ask for Araaraa (Reconciliation), Nagaa (Peace), Walooma (Harmony) and Finnaa (Holistic Development) for the past, the present and the future.

“The event is very important for our community as it brings the community together and helps to connect and share experiences in their day to day life.”

“Together, we can make our destiny better everywhere.”

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Irreecha Celebrations to be Held in Finfinne, First in Over 150 Years

By Staff Reporter   

September 19, 2019 (Ezega.com) — The Oromia cultural and tourism bureau is preparing to celebrate Irrecha in Finfinne early next October.

Head of the bureau Girma Hailu said the exercise is to restart the Irrecha celebration in Finfinne currently known as Addis Ababa city after about 150 years.

Irreecha-CelebrationSome politicians, however, claim that the move has to do with pushing the claim by the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) on the ownership of Addis Ababa city, which almost all other ethnic groups living in the city oppose.

Irreechaa is the annual Oromo people Thanksgiving Day that is celebrated every year in Birraa near the river bank or water and tree. Irreechaa is celebrated every year in September in Bishoftu Hora Harsadii and other Oromia major cities.

The place of the celebration has not yet been located but will take place either near one of the rivers in Addis Ababa or artificial pond. “The celebration will be held while cultural values of the Irrecha celebration are maintained, Girma said while briefing journalists on Wednesday.

Unlike in the past, the Irreecha would be celebrated by all ethnic groups in Addis Ababa regardless of difference in language, religion, culture and ethnic background, the bureau head said.

According to the Oromia Cultural and Tourism Bureau, about three million people from all corners of Addis Ababa and surrounding towns are expected to take part in the celebration.

“Irrecha celebration has to do with the identity of the Oromo people. The celebrations are unique in that the Finifine Hora celebration has come again and that contributes to tourism development in the country, Girma said

In the traditional religion of the Oromos, the spirit is the power through which Waaqaa (The Almighty God) governs all over the world. Thus, Oromos believe that every creation of Waaqaa has its own spirit.

The resumption of the celebration signifies that the people of Oromo and other ethnic groups have begun exercising their democratic rights and building trust among them and image of the country, the bureau head added.

Meanwhile, the Oromia Cultural and Tourism Bureau will hold what is called “Irrech Peace Run” in Addis Ababa ahead of the Irrecha celebration. About 50 thousand runners including famous athletes are expected to participate in the run.

“The run is to show Irrecha is the celebration of peace, unity and cooperation and to add color to forthcoming celebration in Addis Ababa,” Nega Tujuba, head of the Oromia Athletics Federation told Ezega News. Similar runs were staged in Adama city, the capital of Oromia regional state since 2016, but the federation wanted it moved to Addis Ababa to avoid security problems, he added.

The 10-kilometer road race will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2019, along the route of Ethiopian Great Run. The running route goes from Meskel Adebabay to Legehar to Mexico to Sarbet to Kera to Gotera, and then back to Meskel Square.

First winners from both sexes will be awarded each 50 thousand Ethiopian Birr and second and third winners will enjoy 30 and 20 thousand Ethiopian birr, respectively.