Tomorrow is a public holiday in Ethiopia! Ethiopians and all people who have defeated European colonialism will celebrate the 122nd anti-colonial Adwa Victory against invading Italy with various events. In Yekatit 23 (March 1/2) 1896, Ethiopians under the command of Emperor Menelik II defeated over 20,000 well-armed Italian colonial forces at the Battle of Adwa, Tigray, Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s victory over Italy kept Ethiopia the only independent and uncolonized African country.
Professor Ayele Bekerie wrote today “The history of Adwa is a history that inspired African brothers and sisters who were deprived of their freedom by colonizers or racist regimes for a continued struggle. The victory served as a propelling factor for anti-colonial and pan-African movements that started in the 20th century and also helped them to establish institutions, such as the African Union.”
This day is marked in special celebrations and events in Ethiopia and outside Ethiopia, here are places to go to.
- The first place and event to go to is Menelik Square, in front of St. George Church in Piassa, Addis Abeba. This is one of the biggest events and takes place in front of Emperor Menelik II’s Statue (which is being renovated now). Thousands of people including government officials, patriots and youth attend this event which starts around 9 am local time. There are various artistic shows taking place.
- Adwa mountains, Tigray is another place where the day is marked. Last year the it was celebrated in the presence of President Mulatu, former South African President Thabo Mebeki and various dignitaries with thousands of local with music, drama and other entertainments. There are scores of youth, who have traveled to Adwa on foot to mark the day. There are reports that the Adwa Pan-African University could be officially launched tomorrow in Adwa.
- There is a special party and celebration at Flirt Lounge, Bole, Edna Mall Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, beginning from 5:00PM. Book your table HERE.
- There is a public seminar today at Positivity Hall, 159 Nana Sita Street, Tshwane University of Technology Pretoria, South Africa where various Ethiopian and South African scholars will discuss the virtues of the Battle of Adwa. It takes place from from 2.00 – 6.00 PM. Click here for details.
- In Tel Aviv, Israel, Ethiopians wills celebrate the Adwa Victory with various entertainment programs including refreshments on March 3, 2018. Similarly, Ethiopians in Geneva, Switzerland will mark the day on March 3, 2018 in the presence of hundreds of people. Details are found here.
- Ethiopian History Society UK will celebrate the Victory of Adwa on March 3, 2018 from 2 Pm at Barnsbury Community Centre, 1A Adrian House, Jays Street, London N1 0TY (Behind MERKATO Restaurant).
The Ethiopian Heritage Society In North America has organised a big event on Saturday March 2, 2018 at One Veterans Place Silver Spring, MD 20910, Maryland, USA from 12 PM – 3 PM CST.
The Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Buffalo – ECAGB, New York is holding a community event to celebrate the 122nd Anniversary of the Victory of Adwa onFriday, March 2 at 7 PM – 10 PM EST, at 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, New York 14222.
Adwa will be celebrated in Southern Australia with different multicultural events in Southern Australia.
Finally, there are hundreds of people, who have been celebrating the Battle and Victory of Adwa since January 31, 2018 on Facebook. They have been sharing pictures, videos and poems to mark the celebration. Follow the Facebook group here and join them in the celebration.
Since the past 3 years, the government in Ethiopia as well as the Diaspora community have given huge attention and have started to celebrate the day widely and grandly.