Santa Monica celebrates Ethiopian New Year with festival

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- The City of Santa Monica celebrated the Ethiopian New Year with the Ethiopian Cultural Festival, held at Virginia Avenue Park.

Santa Monica residents celebrated the turning of the yearly cycle with music and dances from the different regions of Ethiopia. Those attending were given yellow daisies, the traditional flower of the Ethiopian New Year. There was also a sampling of the country's cuisine.

Guests also got a chance to participate in a traditional coffee ceremony, and there were additional activities for kids.

In Ethiopia, the day starts with a morning church service, followed by family gatherings featuring a traditional meal of flatbread and stew. The Ethiopian New Year celebrates the end of the rainy season and the return of Queen Sheba after her visit to Jerusalem around 980 B.C.