Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Ethiopia: Addis Ababa celebrates Ramadan with its grand annual Iftar

People take part in a mass Iftar, breaking of fast, in the holy month of Ramadan, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March. 27, 2024.   -  
Copyright © africanews
AP Photo/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


Ethiopian Muslims gathered in large numbers in the country's capital, Addis Ababa, for the annual Grand Street Iftar, the meal that Muslims have when they break their fast in Ramadan.

Preparations for the event unfolded throughout Wednesday and members of the community broke bread together later on thursday, celebrating the communal spirit of Ramadan.

Muslims around the world are observing the holy month with worship, charity and dawn-to-dusk fasting.

Organizers of the mass iftar anticipated a large turnout, mirroring the event's growing popularity over the past four years.

Hikma Sani, a 17-year-old participant and volunteer coordinator, emphasized the importance of the spirit of community during Ramadan and the responsibility to support each other during the month of fasting.

The exact date of the Grand Street Iftar depends on the sighting of the crescent moon, but it often falls on the 17th day of the holy month.

This specific date holds special meaning for Ethiopian Muslims, as it marks the 7th century victory of Prophet Muhammad and his followers in the Battle of Badr, explained Abubeker Ahmed, a respected Islamic scholar and Grand Street Iftar coordinator.

The date also coincides with Ethiopia's triumph over the Italian army at Adwa in 1896, when Ethiopian Muslim warriors bravely fought while observing the Ramadan fast, Ahmed said.

The mass iftar offers participants a communal experience as they share a meal featuring traditional Ethiopian dishes such as injera bread, stews and vegetables.

Attendees come together to share food, prayers and conversation.

To some, the Grand Street Iftar it's a symbol of interfaith harmony, reflecting Ethiopia's history of coexistence between Muslims and Christians.

Fuad Muhdin, a journalist and father of two, has attended the annual iftar gathering four times. He said the peaceful atmosphere year after year showcases the Muslim community's love for peace.

The event drew a large crowd, including prominent figures, government officials, religious leaders and people from all walks of life.

View more