A traditional mass wedding for hundreds of Ethiopian couples

Hundreds of couples gathered in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday January 14 to take part in a traditional mass wedding ceremony, the first event of its kind in a decade, according to organizers and participants.
Dressed in traditional white garments, the couples sang and danced in the streets before the start of the ceremony, which brought together Ethiopians from all over the country.
The organizers said they wanted to revive the tradition of mass weddings after a decline accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The reason we’ve started again” to organize this type of event is the desire “to showcase our traditional culture and marriage practices”, explains Hawi Tilahun of Yament. He says he hopes the event will also help boost tourism in Africa’s second most populous country.
For his part, Ashenafi Negassi explains that he and his wife, Zeytuna Usman, both 25, were “very excited” at the prospect of taking part in the ceremony. “It’s a beautiful day to see other tribes from different regions, and to get married alongside them is really wonderful, and I can’t express the joy I feel to be with her (Zeytuna),” says the young trader.