Our Culture and Traditions

A diverse culture of Oromo, Amhara, Gurage, Tigre and others Ethiopian cultures are found in Bishoftu. In addition, Orthodox Christianity, Muslim and “Gadaa” (see below) traditional beliefs are practiced in Bishoftu. Traditional Oromo music and the Irrecha cultural event make Bishoftu a colorful destination to visit, especially in the month of September.
Gadaa (or the older spelling Gada) is the traditional social stratification system of Oromo males in Ethiopia. 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. The current leader of the Gadaa system is found in Bishoftu. It is possible to observe this cultural conflict resolution system of the society in every day life.

The 1994 census reported Bishoftu had a total population of 73,372 of whom 35,058 were men and 38,314 were women. The three largest ethnic groups reported for this town were the Amhara (42.86%), the Oromo (39.4%), and the Gurage (8.3%); all other ethnic groups made up 9.44% of the population.