The holiday that I most remember from my childhood is the Sigd, which occurs on the 29th of Cheshvan, seven weeks after Yom Kippur. Every year, the whole village would fast and then gather together on a high mountaintop. They would pray facing Jerusalem, and in their prayers would praise the beauty of Jerusalem, the golden city.
The Sigd commemorates the commandments received at Sinai and the keeping of the Mitzvot. Another meaning of the holiday is to express the longing for Jerusalem and the hope of returning to Zion.
Today, the Ethiopian Jewish community continues this tradition by gathering together in Jerusalem each year during the Sigd festival.
On Kibbutz Samar, we celebrate the Sigd each year and invite our neighbors from other kibbutzim in the region to enjoy a special evening of Ethiopian food and music, in an authentic Ethiopian atmosphere.
In Ethiopia, there are many different types of music. Two common Ethiopian musical instruments are the Krar and the Masenqo.
Krar: This instrument is similar to a large bowl, strung with five strings. The Krar is very common in the north of Ethiopia.
Masenqo: This one-string instrument, fairly similar to a violin, is used to play traditional music in the villages. It is usually played by wandering minstrels, called Azmari singers in Amharic.
Come join our activities during open evenings, and together we can enjoy traditional Ethiopian music! You are also invited to watch and participate in traditional Ethiopian dances.
Announcements about the Sigd and other music evenings will appear periodically.