Fichee-Chambalalla - New Year festival of the Sidama people

Fichee-Chambalaalla is a thanks giving and New Year festival of the Sidama people. Each year, the Ayanto (Sidama astronomers) determine the correct date of the festival based on the lunar calendar. The festival has no fixed date; it is celebrated between May and June based on the decision of the Ayanto. This festival is one of the socio-cultural heritages handed down by forefathers to descendants and has been celebrated for more than 2000 years. Traditional meals such as Chukame, Buurisame and Shaqishame are served on festivity days.

During the festival, clan leaders advise the Sidama people to work hard, respect and support elders, and abstain from cutting down indigenous trees, begging, indolence, false testimony and theft. Fichee – Chambalaalla was registered by UNESCO as an Intangible World Heritage in November 2015. Thousands of tourists have begun to flock since then. For this festival they will travel to Hawassa for a couple of nights’ stay.