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Community Pitch Story No. 6 – Ethiopian New Year Festival


The 2018 Ethiopian Festival was a fantastic success, applauded by Ethiopian Community Associations, Maribyrnong City Council, local community organisations, artists, community members, businesses and event organisers alike – a beautiful reflection of the truly vibrant and culturally rich suburb of Footscray and the western region at large. The aim of Ethiopian New Year Festival (ENNF) is to radiate with the sights, sounds and smells of Ethiopian culture to the wider community and create the opportunity for Ethiopians to express and embrace their culture and identity and to express their gratitude to the Australian community for embracing multiculturalism.

All aspects of Ethiopian culture were displayed throughout the festival including traditional music, dance, art and history. There was also entertainment for the kids, circus acts and spiritual blessings by Ethiopian churches, coffee ceremonies and more.

The main stage blasted out amazing sounds from emerging and established artists. Truly representative of the cultural landscape of the Ethiopian community, Nicholson Street was filled with art and craft stalls offering a range of craft activities, coffee ceremony, kids’ tribal jewellery workshops and face painting at the 100 storey building, art and craft experiences including weaving demonstrations.

The festival day featured over 48 artists to an audience of over 4000. The main stage started with Circus Yoga performances alongside the House of God, Ethiopian Orthodox Church performances and the Ethiopian traditional fashion show on the main stage.

The energy and ambience of the ENYF was extraordinary, echoed in the praises sung by participants and visitors. This elaborate festival was made possible by the whole community pulling together as well as determined work by some special volunteers. We look forward to expanding our partnerships and community relationships and exploring even more of Footscray in next year’s instalment of the Ethiopian Festival.

  • Author – Daniel Seifu (Artistic Director of ENYF)