Ethiopia Victory of Adwa Commemoration Day

Ethiopia Victory of Adwa Commemoration Day

March 2
Ethiopia enjoys rare distinction as an African country that successfully shook off European domination for centuries. One pivotal moment of resistance was the Ethiopian army's historic victory over invading Italian troops in the Battle of Adwa. The two-day battle, fought in northern Ethiopia in 1896 and led by Emperor Menelik II, ended on March 2. The great military feat stands as a turning point in the history of modern Africa. The anniversary is thus a significant patriotic holiday for Ethiopians.
Festivities take place throughout the country, with official ceremonies in the capital, Addis Ababa, and Adwa, the historical market town located near the battle site. Past celebrations in the capital have featured addresses by national leaders, with messages focusing on Ethiopia's forefathers and their achievements. People will also leave wreaths at the foot of the Menelik Monument, which commemorates the victory led by the Ethiopian emperor.
The celebration in 2005 was a milestone because it occurred the day before the Italian government returned to Ethiopia the Axum obelisk, a 4th-century relic that the Fascist forces looted during a brief period of conquest and occupation in the 1930s.
CONTACTS:
Ethiopian Embassy
3506 International Dr. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-364-1200; fax: 202-587-0195
Ethiopian Tourism Commission
P.O. Box 2183
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
www.tourismethiopia.org (click on "Cultural Attractions")
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