Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day in Ethiopia Date in the current year: December 8, 2024

Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day in Ethiopia Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day is an Ethiopian holiday celebrated annually on December 8. It commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of Ethiopia that guaranteed equal rights to all ethnic groups of Ethiopia.

Although all people living in Ethiopia are generally referred to as simply “Ethiopians”, the population of present-day Ethiopia is in fact very diverse. It is made of more than 80 different ethnic groups, some consisting of fewer than 10,000 people. Different ethnic groups speak different languages, which do not necessarily belong to the same language family.

The four main ethnic groups of Ethiopia are the Oromas, Amharas, Somalis, and Tigrayans. Other major ethnic groups include the Sidamas, Gurages, Welaytas, Hadiyas, Afars, and Gamos. There is a history of conflict between different ethnic groups of Ethiopia, which was fueled by Italy’s policy during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia and the Derg regime. After the fall of the military junta, the new government decided to transform Ethiopia into an ethnic federalist state in order to reduce ethnic tensions and conflicts that were tearing the country apart.

On December 8, 1994, the Transitional Government of Ethiopia adopted the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It divided the country into regional states based on ethnicity and language, as well as guaranteed the right of all Ethiopian nations and nationalities to determine their political status (i.e. to establish their own states should they wish so) and freely pursue their cultural, social and economic development.

Despite the adoption of the new constitution and all the efforts of the Ethiopian government to achieve peace between the country’s ethnic groups, ethnic clashes are still common in present-day Ethiopia. Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day was officially established in 2006 to highlight the importance of living in peace and mend bridges between all the different ethno-linguistic groups of Ethiopia.

The main goals of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day are to promote the cultures, lifestyles and values of different nations, nationalities and peoples living in Ethiopia, and to strengthen their ties that allow them to live in peace and harmony and unite them into a single economic and political community despite all their differences.

Each year, a new Ethiopian state serves as the official host of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day festival, and smaller-scale cultural celebrations are held throughout the country. Each of the eighty ethnic groups of Ethiopia is welcome to participate in these events and share their identity and culture (music, dance, traditional attire, etc.) through live performances.

The holiday is also widely celebrated in Ethiopian embassies and consulates abroad. Celebratory events include cultural festivals, presentations, speeches, panel discussions, and other events and activities that highlight the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Ethiopian society, as well as raise awareness of human rights issues that still need to be solved.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Cultural Observances, Anniversaries and Memorial Days



Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Day in Ethiopia, holidays in Ethiopia, cultural observances, Ethiopian ethnic groups