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Gadaa (in older spelling: Gada) is the traditional social stratification system of Oromo males in
Ethiopia and northern Kenya; it is also practiced by the Gedeo people of southern Ethiopia. Each
class, or luba, consists of all of the sons of the men in another particular class. The entire class
progresses through eleven different grades, each based on an eight-year cycle, and each with its
own set of rights and responsibilities.
As of 1990, Gadaa had active adherentsonlyamongthe Boranaand Guji groupsnear the Ethiopian-
Kenyanborder.Thoughthe Gadaa systemitself isnolongerwidelypracticed,itremains influential in
Oromosocietyat large.Historically,ithasbeenseenasabettermethodof governingthanotherforms
inthe region.However,the Gadaahad all the shortcomingandproblemslike thatof the monarchial
Oromoand monarchial non-OromoEthiopiansystemsof governance.
OromoInvadedandconquered,includingaroundthe SidamaandSomali,the Gadaasystemwas
oppressive inpractice,thoughproclaimedasdemocraticandjustin Oromooral tradition.Accordingto
ethnohistorianUlrichBraukämper,minoritiesandthose whoassimilated,like the Hadiyya,were
"consideredtobe of a lowersocial statusthanthe 'pure'Oromo anddid notpossessequal rightsinthe
Irreechaa (Amharic: ኢሬቻ), also called Irreessa, is Thanksgiving holiday of the Oromo people in
Ethiopia. The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqaa (God) for the blessings and
mercies they have received throughout the previous year. The thanksgiving is celebrated at the
sacred grounds of Hora Harsadi (Lake Harsadi), Bishoftu, Oromia. The Irreechaa festival is
celebrated every year at the beginning of Birraa (the sunny new season after the dark, rainy
winter season). Irrecha is celebrated throughout Oromia and around the world where diaspora
Oromos live especially North America and Europe.
The Oromo people consider the winter rainy season of June to September as the time of
difficulty. The heavy rain brings with it lots of things like swelling rivers and floods that may
drown people, cattle, crop, and flood homes. Also, family relationship will severe during winter
rain as they can't visit each other because of swelling rivers. In addition, winter time could be a
time of hunger for some because of the fact that previous harvest collected in January is running
short and new harvest is not ripe yet. Because of this, some families may endure food shortages
during the winter. In Birra (the season after winter in Oromoland), this shortage ends as many
food crops especially maize is ripe and families can eat their fill. Other crops like potato, barley,
etc. will also be ripe in Birra. Some disease types like malaria also break out during rainy winter
time. Because of this, the Oromos see winter as a difficult season. However, that does not mean
the Oromo people hate rain or winter season at all. Even when there is shortage of rain, they pray
to Waaqaa (God) for rain.
The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa not only to thank Waaqaa (God) but also to welcome the
new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter season associated with nature and
creature. On Irreechaa festivals, friends, family, and relatives gather together and celebrate with
joy and happiness. Irreechaa festivals bring people closer to each other and make social bonds.
Moreover, the Oromo people celebrate this auspicious event to mark the end of rainy season,
known as Ganna, was established by Oromo forefathers, in the time of Gadaa Melbaa in
Mormor, Oromia. The auspicious day on which this last Mormor Day of Gadaa Belbaa - the
Dark Time of starvation and hunger- was established on the 1st Sunday of last week of
September or the 1st Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar
has been designated as National Thanksgiving Day by modern-day Oromo people.