Eritrea: Christmas Message From Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Church Leaders

Asmara (HAN) December 26, 2014 – Public diplomacy and Regional Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Church News. by Yishak Yaried.

Many people from different countries who follow the Julian calendar celebrate Christmas on December 25 and others like in Eritrea who follow the Gregorian calendar celebrate the day on January 7. In Eritrea the Geez calendar is the foundation of all Christian religious occasions like Christmas, Easter, Kudus Yohannes and others.

The Geez calendar is derived from the older Alexandrian calendar. The new year begins from Meskerem first (September) and ends in the added five days of Pagumien (it becomes 6 days in every four years) and every month has 30 days. That means the Geez calendar adds a leap day every four years and that results alternate calculations in determining the date of the Annunciation of Jesus.

In Asmara Christmas day is celebrated with special occasion. The bells from the Cathedral sound through out the days of the Julian calendar Christmas to that of the Geez calendar, January 7. On top of that the resounding music coming out from the Cathedral and being hear in most parts of the city gives added color to the day and for that matter to the two week long celebrations.
Prior to Christmas, people go for shopping for clothes, gifts and a whole lot of decorations to bring sparkle and light to their homes. Besides this, they also purchase a sheep or a goat, which is slaughtered as a mark of sacrifice.

The best part about Christmas in Eritrea is that families get together and have what ever is prepared for the day. After lunch, they sit around, enjoy a warm cup of coffee and talk about family affairs. Coffee is savored along with popcorn and Panettone, which is a home baked leavened bread. It is a time when families laugh and enjoy these memorable moments together.

The other interesting part of the day, like during every religious holidays, people from different religions celebrate it equally by sending greetings of well wish to each other and extend their hands to the needy so that every one feels the joy of the day.

The Eritrean youngsters celebrate Christmas on 25 December. In this day they would be involved in partying, exchange of gifts, cards as well as celebration with family and friends. Many Eritreans, mainly the elderly, take December 25 as a normal day.

This year the Geez calendar Christmas will be celebrated next Monday. Normally it would happen on Tuesday, the calculation is resulted with the leap year that comes every four years.

Merry Christmas!


Photo: Eritrean Orthodox Churches, together with Kyr Hlib Lonchyna (Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London & Catholic


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  1. Merry Christmas to all my Eritrean brothers, sisters, kids’ moms and dads where ever you are. When we are celebrating the birth of our savior JESUS CHRIST who became the sacrificial lamb for our sin, I wish you peace, joy and health and I hope you are celebrating it surrounded with your family friends and neighbors.
    When we are celebrating this beautiful holly day I know that thousands of our Eritreans are living in agony, pain, and desperation because of a heartless cold blooded regime led by a murderer ISAYAS AFEWORKI and his criminal thugs.
    I pray that.
    1- God give us the courage and UNITY so we expedite the demise of the murderer, thief, and criminal regime of ISAYAS AFEWORKI.
    2- God give joy, inner peace and health to thousands of our brothers and sisters in prison so they come out and witness the punishment of the criminals (hopefully hanging of the criminals).
    3- God give strength, joy and health for thousands of our youngsters in Sinai desert, Israel, Sudan, all over Europe and for those in transition.
    4- I pray that God give strength and health to our sisters and brothers who are working day and night sacrificing their time, energy and money to bring UNITY among our people and to end one man rule, tyranny, killing, dictatorship crime against our people and expedite the final days of the criminal murderer, ISAYAS AFEWORKI and his gangsters.
    Finally I pray that God opens up the hearts and minds of our delusional Eritrean brothers and sisters so they see the pain, grief and agony imposed by the criminal gangsters against our people and have the courage to unite with the rest of their people to end SLAVERY, MURDER, JAIL, TYRANY, DICTATORSHIP and crime against humanity.
    OUR UNITY IS OUR SRENGTH. God bless and have a Merry Christmas.
    Our diversity is our beauty and our strength.
    We are Eritrea, we are from every walk of life and with diverse faith.
    Faith is personal and government should stay out from our faith institutions.

  2. Correction!
    “Many people from different countries who follow the Julian calendar celebrate Christmas on December 25 and others like in Eritrea who follow the Gregorian calendar celebrate the day on January 7.”
    I like to point out for to be corrected the simple error, Julian vs Gregorian calenders mentioned Gregorian calender celebrates Christmas on December 25th while Julian January the 7th. As we know that Julian is the oldest, while Gregorian the latest…. GBU!

  3. (Every Eritrean deserves to read this beautiful aricle by an outsanding writer.)

    Isaias Afewerki: the Founding Father of Modern Slave Eritrea
    By In depth Africa
    In Article
    Jul 22nd, 2014
    By Woldu Tekle

    It is common knowledge that Dictator Isaias Afewerki Abraha is the founding father of the modern slave Eritrea state. The objective evidence for that assertion is overwhelming. He was the designer of the disastrous Ethio-Eritrea war which cost thousands of young people lives, The main engineer of the slavery camp of SAWA, the CEO of the Eritrean youth exodus, the investor of Eritrean youngsters’ kidney trade in the world market, the leader of Human trafficking in the Horn of Africa, the commander in chief of the death of all the victims in the Mediterranean Sea, and above all he is the founder of all kind of human disaster and misery in Eritrea. His record of accomplishments as a dictator of the modern slave Eritrea is beyond belief. He and his few comrades founded the most notorious communist party (PFDJ) and created a paralyzed society in the post-independence 23 years period.
    PIA truly has been and still is modern slave Eritrea’s “indispensable dictator.” The essential man not only betraying our dreams but also in successfully destroying our unity and identity for the last 23 years.
    The Eritrean people today are aware of how close the Eritrean identity came to being put at great risk as a result of the extraordinary betrayals witnessed during the 23 year brutal rule of Isaias Afewerki. The youth exodus is leading this poor country to hell and it is the real test for its existence.
    PIA is critical in designing the collapse of the Eritrean state. With his great skills as a divider and with his extraordinary tactics of misleading, Eritrea today is on its way to a 21st century failed state. It is a record of failed leadership he will always be remembered as the worst dictator the world will ever witness. He is a disgrace to our society and to the country as a whole.
    He is also the essential man in leading the country at this juncture of its shameful history. He has proven to be corruptible. He is clearly the greatest failed leader and has been a secular figure before and after the liberation of this poor country.
    Distrustful, and determined to hunt his fellow fighters by false accusations and lies, PIA is the rarest of men in disappearing and killing innocent people without mercy. His evil behavior combines self-obsession and disillusionment. His arrogance and ego-centric behavior leads him to become a 21st century monster. He has dedicated his entire life to fulfill his dream of power by building a strong, criminal communist party in the name of liberation.
    He has been against the west democracy in order to undermine human liberty by burying all the legal system in the entire country. In the name of sovereignty, he has committed unimaginable crimes including the creation of the most notorious ERA’ERO PRISON. PIA and his PFDJ Party are known for their nasty crimes including torture, and killings by disappearing innocent Eritreans without due process.
    In conclusion, PIA and his party (PFDJ) are responsible for all the crimes committed and man-made disasters during their entire rule. They bear responsibility for the Ethio-Eritrea war and the lives lost in the name of national security, the creation of the slavery camp of SAWA, the ERA’ERO prison, the Eritrean youth exodus, the modern human trafficking, all the deaths in the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea, the recent Lampadusa tragedy, the sale of Eritreans to the Bedouins in the Sinai desert and the inhuman kidney trade, the mass torture and killings during the last 23 years, the political, social, and economic injustices in the entire society. PIA and his Party will be brought to face all the charges mentioned and unmentioned above and justice will prevail soon. We the people are determined to bring all the criminals and give them a chance a day in court. Justice will not remain silent forever.
    NOTE: This is a response to the author of “ISAIAS AFEWERKI: The founding father of modern Eritrea,” in Tesfa News which is one of the mouthpiece of PFDJ media outlet. The author is out of touch of the Eritrean political situation. He chose to be the servant of PIA by trying to make an unfounded theatre in order to buy supporters to the dictator at the time Isaias is on his way to his grave. The author is ill-conceived to decorate PIA as visionary and inspirational leader despite all the crimes committed by him and his notorious communist party. The author is purposely trying to convince the silent majority of the Eritrean society by making an argument that PIA was a revolutionary hero and the guard of the new created Eritrean state. He is aware that PIA is losing support even among his die-hard supporters in the Diaspora and he is clearly worried by the turn out of the 40th Bologna festival of PFDJ which was ended with shame and disgrace. The reality is the author still cannot read the Eritrean people mind. He is denying accepting that the Eritrean people are already divorced from PIA and his man-made popularity. He is still leaving in the era of “WEDI AFOM BRI NSU ANBESA ASHAKRU NEBRI…..OR ISAIAS NEBIY syndrome.”