Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is Halloween like in Ethiopia?

BOO! Happy Halloween!

Did you know that the Ethiopian holiday, Buhé (boo HAY) is similar to Halloween in the United States? Buhé is celebrated on August 19th (or 20th during leap year) which is during the rainy season in Ethiopia. On the night before Buhé, households get injera ready in the fermentation process for baking the next day.

On the evening of Buhe, groups of children go from door to door asking for injera. They sing a song called "Hoya Hoye" along with other songs and jump up and down until they get their treat. Unlike the Halloween here in the United States, Ethiopian children do not dress up in costumes.

During the night each house lights small bonfires of twigs and everyone gathers around the flames. Parts of this celebration are said to come from the story of the Lost Children who wandered away and were found by torch light and given injera to eat.

Injera is a traditional Ethiopian flat bread generally made from several different flours including teff, whole wheat flour, barley, rice, and/or corn meal. This bread can take several days to make. The dough is left to ferment from one to three days creating a bread that tastes similar to sour dough bread. This bread is then cooked on a hot griddle on one side only. Injera is a very thin bread with a soft texture that is perfect for scooping up soups and stews.

Check out Melody Kettle's segment with Hot from the Kettle" on Baristanet, for a peek inside our kitchen at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant of Montclair, NJ, to see how we make injera. We also share a recipe with you!

Have a spooky Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Thank so much for this information! I sponsor a child in Ethiopia and I was curious if they celebrated Halloween. Thank you for sharing :)