The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna, and many followers go to Church on Christmas day. Many people fast (deprive themselves from any meal) on Christmas Eve (January 6th), and at dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white, with many of them wearing a traditional garment called a shemma. It’s a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the end, worn a bit like a toga.

If you live in a big town or city people tend to wear ‘western’ clothes. The early Ganna mass starts at 4.00am! Everybody who goes to church for the Ganna festivities is given a candle (local candle called ‘twafe’ made from honey wax). The believers walk around the church three times in an intense procession, holding the candles, then they proceed by going to the second circle to stand during the service