Ethiopia Custom Similar to Palm Sunday

Ethiopia Custom Similar to Palm Sunday

Kehtema: A custom of putting green vegetation covering of the ground in Ethiopia.

I am curious, there is a custom here in Ethiopia that may or may not be related to the Palm Sunday in the Christian Bible.

The Ethiopian people appear to place green vegetation down when they wish a place to be proper or formal. They make what is similar to a tablecloth or rug out of fresh green plants, I have seen grass, pine and what appear to be palm leaves.

This is pure speculation, I am not able to do any collaborative research, I am in an information vacuum.

“Palm Sunday, in Christianity, Sunday before Easter, so called from the custom of blessing palms and of carrying portions of branches in procession, in commemoration of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.”

Awasa, Ethiopia
Three to Four Hours South of Addis, Ababa
East Africa
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Travelogue, -

I have observed and experienced multiple times Ethiopia people spreading various types of green vegetation around an area. I have not been able to discern whether the type of plant is important, I know they use more than one type.

Here are some various photos documenting this custom.

If you look closely, you can see some green plant vegetation placed below the coffee ceremony tray.

In the early morning, in preparation for the market, the Awasa people carry large bundle of grass to their individual market stalls. They then spread out to make a rug of green.

In the morning, there is a stead stream of boys carrying bundles of fresh cut grass to the market. It appears to be a service; I have found no business angle to this, other than to make their shop more pleasant and comfortable.

This photo was taken in the Family Club Hotel, the management took large amount of longer green leave, they looks like parts of Palm Fronds and had them in the bar for the prior night of drinking.

This photo was taken in Panajachel, Guatemala on Christmas Eve, showing a similar type of ground dressing, however done in another country and only for one day.

I am curious to know the desert customs, there is a lot of dust in Ethiopia, there is a need to keep the dust down. Normally on Planet Earth, the people will continuous water the ground, this is expensive and there is not an overabundance of water in Ethiopia. I am speculating they do this to stop the dust.

I will continue to ask people, however normally when I meet people who speak sufficient English to explain, they are not close these type of customs. Moreover, they minimize the reasons; they do not like to explain their customs.


If you not see a video here it is because you are reading by email, click here to see video.

Internet on Saturday seems to be slower than during the weekdays, I suppose more people are using their cell phones. I have started the upload to up to six times, trying to get one good streak of solid bandwidth, nothing is stable in Ethiopia, the electricity stops, the internet stop and so does the water.


Anthropology, - Culture, - Customs of Countries, - Locals - Meeting

Ethiopia Custom Similar to Palm Sunday