Historical Roots and Significances and Challenges of Shadeye/Ashendeye/Solele Festival: The Case of North Wollo and Waghemera Zones

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Atsede Tefera (PhD)
Tesfaye Fentaw
Kassa Nigus


In the 21st century, culture recognition is considered as the pillar of development. This study was fo- cused on the historical roots and significances of Shadeye/Ashendye/Solele cultural practices in North Wollo and Waghemra Zone, Ethiopia. The study was conducted by using interpretative assumption and qualitative research approach. In-depth key informant, semi-structured interviews; FGD; Observation and document review data collection tools were used for this study to collect data from 36 interviewees. The study found that Shadeye/Ashendye/Solele festival has religious roots in the Resurrection and Assumption of Virgin St. Mary to Heaven fasting (Filsata in Ethiopia). As it is strongly attached with gender and culture, young females practice Shadeye/Ashendye/Solele festival by warping a green leaf in their flank/waist in order to express their happiness and to commemorate Angels’ delight in the resurrection of St. Marry by using different aesthetically, religiously, folkloric words. The females seek social opportunity; experience the social desires, gain knowledge, social enhancements, and increases communication. These festivities are sources of cultural and societal interaction and are infused with the culture of the society. They are major sources of marriage arrangement, morality issues (“bad” and “good”), and thus stealing and other form of immoral acts and behaviors are strongly discouraged, as equality and equity among the peoples are preached, the ladies orate love in their singing and express the power of love for brotherhood, fraternity and apology. Females learn a leadership and teamwork in the course of the celebration. Even though these values and significances are possessed, this festival is currently facing challenges. The major challenges were; the changing face of the festival in the rural and urban communities, the past and present scenario of the festival celebration in its courses, lack of market-oriented operations to develop the festival as a tourism product and challenges of creating culture led development strategy and cultural regeneration practice.

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