Ok as promised the game is called genna looked very similar to hockey
Melkham Gena from Roots Ethiopia! Posted on January 6, 2015 by Roots Ethiopia Our Board Member Desta Seyoum grew up in Kembata and was a critical member of our Field Team during our recent trip to Ethiopia. We asked Desta to share some cultural information about “Gena” the common Amharic word for Christmas. Enjoy!
Ethiopians fallow the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar. It has 365 days divided into 12 months each with 30 days. The remaining 5 days make a 13th month to which a leap day will be added every four years.
Christmas day falls on January 7th, and is a major public holiday in Ethiopia. It is normally a hot dry day with no signs of snow. Ethiopians celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. They take a more conventional and religious way. The Christmas celebration is commonly called “Gena” in Amharic or “Lidet” which means birth day.
On Christmas Eve there will be church services in the country’s various church groups and denominations. People may be seen singing and chanting in the streets. Before dawn, flocks of white-robed pilgrims may be seen marching towards churches. Orthodox Christians may refrain from eating on Christmas Eve, and may have elaborate clergy processions.
Usually, Gena festivities begin early in the day when people gather in churches for mass. On the day, both men and women dress up in their finest. They dress in traditional hand-woven white clothes and cotton garment called “netela” with brightly colored embroidery stripes across the ends.
Traditional Netela During the “Gena” season, young men play a game named after the festival and is called “Ye-Gena Chewata”. It is a hockey-like ball game on the grass played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball. It is an important part of the celebration, and often played in groups on late afternoon of Christmas day. “Ye-Feras Gugis” is another game in which men ride on horsebacks, shooting spears at each other. The type of social activities may vary slightly depending on the region, ethnic group or religion. www.rootsethiopia.org/melkham-gena-from-roots-ethiopia/