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Kids Culture Day: Buhe Celebration

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Embassy of Ethiopia

3506 International Dr. NW

Washington, DC 20008

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Buhe,

Buhe in Ethiopia is celebrated with great pomp. The festival reminds one of an old custom. The main attraction of the Buhe Festival in Ethiopia is the songs of the small boys - Hoya Hoye. Bands of small boys wander from house to house, singing and jostling until they are given some money or fresh mulmul special bread prepared for the holiday). And the festival, which takes place during the rainy season, is one of the most anticipated holidays by young boys.

These are not special kids either; these are just average boys who fall into groups of five or six to celebrate the annual Buhe (Debre Tabor) holiday with a special door-to-door singing ritual. Similar to Christmas or Halloween celebration, in the West where kids go from door to door singing holiday songs and spreading the holiday vibe.

The Ethiopian Buhe is also one holiday where little boys bring the holiday feeling to their neighborhood through special Buhe songs. Buhe songs are inherently songs of praise for elders and adults whose home the kids visit every year. By custom, the owner of the houses responds favorably by giving out gifts starting from traditional bread called mulmul, baked specially for such an occasion.

Traditionally, Buhe is a culture observed among residential areas as it is directed to the households where these kids reside. One thing that seems to be constant across time is, however, the chorus of the Buhe song "Hoya-Hoye". And, perhaps, the small stick that the kids carry with them to stomp the ground while singing (a sort of a musical instrument) is also one of rear traditions which seems to have survived rapid evolution in urban areas.

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Embassy of Ethiopia

3506 International Dr. NW

Washington, DC 20008

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