Irrecha, Oromo’s people national thanksgiving day, is an indigenous Ethiopian culture which is annually celebrated among the Oromo’s people in Hora Harsadi (Lake Harsadi), Bishoftu town, in oromia regional state. On this day, Oromo’s people gather near and around lake Hora Harsadi and unanimously thank waaqaa (God) for his blessing & mercies in the previous year as well as for the peaceful transition from the dark, rainy difficult winter season to the bright sunny, fruitful & productive days of summer (Birraa). Irrecha is not only a thanksgiving day for God’s mercies & blessing but also a day on which Oromo’s people pray for more mercies & blessings in the new year.
They consider the rainy winter season from June to September as dark & difficult; swelling of rivers &heavy floods destroy homes, crops cattle and even some times they drown people; there is shortage of food & starvation. During this season as food from the harvest season in January had already been finished in the preceding months; families & close relatives couldn’t be able to meet as before frequently following swelling of rivers; the disease of malaria attacks so many inhabitants in these rainy seasons.
Irrecha is often celebrated every year in either the last Sunday of September or the 1st Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar. This cultural festival is warmly celebrated among Oromo communities both in Ethiopia and aboard especially in North America & Europe. This annual thanksgiving cultural festival strength culture & social bonds among Oromo’s people as families, close relatives & friends meet at celebration venues wearing traditional Oromo outfits. More than half a million people attended last year’s Irrecha celebration in Bishoftu town around Lake Harsadi. Several domestic & foreign tourism elites have repeatedly been heard saying, ’’UNESCO should inscribe this spectacular cultural festival celebrated annually by millions amongst intangible world heritages of humanity.’’ And efforts have been started to make this claim a reality.