Ethiopian Christmas or Genna celebrated on January 7. The main ceremony takes place on the holiday around local Ethiopian Orthodox churches (though Protestants and Catholics also celebrate), which hold late-night services on the eve of Christmas lasting after midnight. Traditional ceremonial singing marks these services, as does chanting performed by priests and deacons wearing colorful robes with gold and silver accents.
Genna is observed by Christians across Ethiopia, the most famous Christmas celebrations takes place in the historic city of Lalibela. There, crowds of more than 80,000 pilgrims flock to watch neatly dressed Orthodox clergy perform the wire lining the steep shelves surrounding the famous rock-hewn churches.
Accompanied by a slowly building tempo of traditional church drums, metallic cestrum and pilgrims’ clapping, they lead the crowd in an intensely moving musical performance about the birth of Jesus Christ. The colorful celebration of Ethiopian Christmas coincides with the birthday of king Lalibela.