The celebration was held in capital Addis Ababa for the first time in 150 years.
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group have been celebrating in the capital Addis Ababa at the start of an annual thanksgiving festival.
Security was high on Saturday, with a visible presence from security forces including snipers, for Irreecha, celebrated by the Oromo people to mark the start of the harvest season.
Thousands of people dressed in traditional white costumes arrived in buses, cars and by foot from all over the Oromia region to celebrate on the streets of the capital with dancing, singing and flag waving.
“This festivity is a symbol of a transition from darkness to a light,” said Zewidu Megrarobi, 65, a farmer from Yeka, a village located on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian Federal Police said nine people were arrested on the eve of the festival for attempting to smuggle weapons into the capital.
The festival is usually held in Bishoftu, a town located in the Oromia region, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Addis Ababa.
The celebrations, which returned to the capital for the first time in 150 years, are due to be followed by a larger event on Sunday in Bishoftu.
#Irreecha being celebrated at #HoraFinfinne in the capital #AddisAbeba for the 1st time in modern Ethiopian history.Hundreds of thousands who came from various parts of the country are gathered at #Mesqel Square starting from early hours. #Irreecha2019. #Oromo #Ethiopia Pics: FBC pic.twitter.com/IYBaMa5JYO
— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) October 5, 2019
After four security cordons each consisting of body searches we are here at #Irreecha2019 . Irreecha signals end of rainy season, thanksgiving for the past year’s bounties. My fave (the decorated horses) just turned up. #addisababa #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/KOHrdLANZE
— Robyn Lee Kriel (@robynkriel1) October 4, 2019
If you take Oromo/Oromia out of the Horn of Africa, you will be left with Eritrea, Somalia and Djbouti 😜😜😜 #Irreecha2019 #Irreechaweek pic.twitter.com/yavqfmA51Z
— Amir Dhaba🤢🌳😡 (@AmaKush_) October 5, 2019
Our mothers sing. #Irreecha2019 pic.twitter.com/mntvL87DnD
— Finfinne (@finfinne6) October 6, 2019
Happy #Irreecha2019 pic.twitter.com/k2HBZgIlp3
— Marsabit Finest 🇰🇪 (@MarsabitF) October 5, 2019