Urban centers are the captive of diverse cultures that gives a beauty and add value for aesthetical view for cities and towns. Accordingly, Bishoftu city is the center for diverse cultures of different nations and nationalities that tolerate and respect each other as a unity in diversity. Oromo culture has come to developed in the city because of the remarkable and well known Irecha ceremony yearly celebrated in the city at Hora Arsade by following the meskel holly day on the first Sunday, in the month of September.
- What is Irreechaa?
Irreecha (Amharic: ???), also called Irreessa, is Thanksgiving holiday of the Oromo People in Ethiopia. The Oromo People celebrate Irreecha to thank Waaqa (God) for the blessings and mercies they have received throughout the previous year. The thanksgiving is celebrated at the sacred grounds of Hora Harsadi (Lake Harsadi), Bishoftu, Oromia. The Irreecha festival is celebrated every year at the beginning of Birraa (Spring), new season after the dark and rainy winter season. Irrecha is celebrated in East Shewa Zone and around the world where diaspora Oromos live especially North America and Europe.
The Oromo People consider the winter rainy season of June to September as the time of difficulty. The heavy rain brings with it lots of things like swelling rivers and floods that may drown people, cattle, crop, and flood homes. Also, family relationship will severe during winter rain as they can't visit each other because of swelling rivers. In addition, winter time could be a time of hunger for some because of the fact that previous harvest collected in January is running short and new harvest is not ripe yet. Because of this, some families may endure food shortages during the winter. In Birraa (Spring in Oromoland), this shortage ends as many food crops especially maize is ripe and families can eat their fill. Other crops like potato, barley, etc. will also be ripe in Birraa. Some disease types like malaria also break out during rainy winter time. Because of this, the Oromos see winter as a difficult season. It does not mean the Oromo People hate rain or winter season at all. Even when there is shortage of rain, they pray to Waaqa (God) for rain.
The Oromo People celebrate Irreecha not only to thank Waaqa (God) but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter season associated with nature and creature. On Irreecha festivals, friends, family, and relatives gather together and celebrate with joy and happiness. Irreecha festivals bring people closer to each other and make social bonds.
Moreover, the Oromo People celebrate this auspicious event to mark the end of rainy season, known as Ganna, was established by Oromo forefathers, in the time of Gadaa Melbaa in Mormor, Oromia. The auspicious day on which this last Mormor Day of Gadaa Melbaa - the Dark Time of starvation and hunger- was established on the Sunday of last week of September or the Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar has been designated as National Thanksgiving Day by modern-day Oromo People.
On the ceremony, about Millions of People from different corner of the country and abroad have been taking a part with different cultural dresses in the ceremonial occasion of irecha that mean “thanks giving day. Now a day wedding ceremony is also conducted at this historical occasion, therefore Irecha is one of the tourist attraction centers in the country in general and for the city administration in particular so that attention must be given in developing the area for future.
Regarding the development of Oromo way of life, the Aba Gada place of work is currently opened in the City and many activities are being made to undertake researches on the Oromo culture.