The End of the Rainy Season

 September 10, 2016
   By Kassa Nigus
The last segment of the rainy season in the Ethiopian Church Calendar consists of 39 days from Nehese 22 – Meskerem 25 (August 28-October 6.) During this time, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church remembers, in her liturgical services, all living things and islands enclosed by water bodies. 

This is the time when the soil becomes less moist; the volume of water decreases; the clean earth, the clear sky and the clean water appear; and the earth gets decorated with flowers.

The end of the rainy season is divided into two parts;

The first part covers from August 22 – August 29 and is recognized by the following names:
A. Egule Qu’at (The fowl of crow): This is nominated after the teachings of St. Yared in his hymn saying “… the fowl of crow praise God….”, and the church associates it to the fact that when the eagle has incubated her egg, the fowl appears in the form of flames devoid of tresses. So, being afraid of the color of her little fowl, the mother crow runs away from her fowl.

During this time, the fowl feels hungry and opens its mouth so that pests and other insects flow towards its mouth, and then it satisfies itself by eating the flying insects through the generosity of God as it is stated in the following readings: “Who provides for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat” (Job 38 :41) ; “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds  them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26).  

The fowl of crow symbolizes all flying creatures in the teachings of the genesis. Among the common readings of these days are sited from the verse “who executes judgment for the oppressed: who gives food to the hungry. The Lord looses the prisoners” (Psalms 146:7).

B. Desseyat (Islands): This is also nominated after the teachings of St. Yared in his hymn saying “The islands are delighted in times of winter.”  Even if the islands are surrounded by water bodies, God saves them and all the creatures living in the islands from the calamities of winter, so they provide praise to their Lord. The church prays for the comfort of all creatures of islands as God saves Naoh, his family, and a remnant of all the world’s animals from the flood through the ark, which is the symbol of the church.

C. Ayne Kulu (The Eyes of All): Farmers patiently wait enduring all the temptations of winter to reap their harvest that is sown in pain (cold weather) of the winter, Christian farmers trust in Lord Jesus Christ that their hope of harvest will be fulfilled. So, the eyes of all wait upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  During this week, the church praises God with different recitals from Psalms:

“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou gives them their meat in due season. Thou open thine hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Psalms 145:15-16)

“Who gives food to all flesh: for his mercy endures forever. O gives thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 136:25-26); (Psalms 104:21-27),

The second part covers from August 30 to September 25 which is termed as:

A. ‘Dawn’, ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Light’: it is because the season when dark clouds begin to move away and the sun resurfaces and shines in the sky.

B. ‘Fruit’ : it is because the seed that was sown early blooms to flower, evolves to budding and ripens to be ready for harvest.

Source:  በሙሉ አስፋው 2001 E.C. ማኅቶተ ዘመን ፡ ገጽ 214-221
Note: the rainy season in Ethiopia covers the period from Senie 25 to Meskerem 26 in Ethiopian Calendar (July 2 to October 6).