(OPride) — On Oct. 6, more than three million people from around Oromia, Ethiopia flocked to the town of Bishoftu for Oromo’s premier Irreecha festival. In the Oromo country, Irreechaa marks the end of a dark rainy season and the beginning of blossom harvest at the dawn of spring (Birraa).
Oromos celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqaa and to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests associated with nature and creature after the winter season.
Activists say Irreechaa is the single largest cultural festival in Africa. Government officials, including the speaker of the House of Representatives, used the occasion to call on all Oromos and Ethiopians to work together to get Irreechaa registered as a UNESCO world heritage event. Activists noted the presence of heavy security and checkpoints along the town’s main entrances.
Oromia is not the only place where Irreechaa is being observed this spring. Oromo expats around the world (from Canada to several U.S. states, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Norway and Uganda) have successful celebrated Irreechaa over the last few weeks. We have compiled select photos and videos from social media users around the world. We hope that this would serve as a historical record. If we missed your town, please email us a link at firstname.lastname@example.org.