Seeing buildings draped in shimmering lights and décor and music blasting from different malls is a clear indication that it’s the holiday season. This means of course that people will be spending a bit of money to celebrate Ethiopian Christmas in style.
People are never short of entertainment during holiday seasons; the number of concerts, shopping festivals and live performances in bars and clubs, the night life especially becomes even more vibrant.
But as the real celebration of the holiday involves getting together with family and enjoying a nice feast the market place has an important role to play.
As we do for all major holidays, Capital looked into the prices in different markets to understand what has gone up and what has remained reasonably affordable. In markets located in the Shola and Bole area, shoppers seem to be generally content with the prices of goods, especially vegetables.
Pervious holidays have brought with them surprises when it comes to shocking price hikes. This year on the other hand, the market remains relatively stable; although this is not to mean things have gotten cheaper but rather have stayed the same when compared to others.
The price of live chicken stands at 150 to 200 birr a bird although some people have said it is being sold at higher prices in some places. As most Ethiopians still prefer live chickens, it is usually more expensive than frozen supermarket chickens which currently sell starting from 90 up to 120 birr; the price for this varies per kilogram.
The price of sheep hasn’t changed much either with shoppers buying from 2,500 all the way up to 3,500 for higher quality or bigger sizes. Although sheep also are a really sought out after holiday treat, due to the price, most still go for chicken and butchery bought beef for celebration.
When it comes to vegetables, garlic remains super expensive, similar to the previous year, with a kilo being sold for 60 birr. The other essential is red onion; Doro Wot and other stew needs a lot of onion and so it was a relief for many to see the price is somewhat reasonable with a kilo sold for 12 birr.
Consistent prices are also seen with other vegetables such as; cabbage 8 birr, green beans at 30 birr, carrots at 10 birr, potatoes at 8 birr, beetroot at 10 birr and green peppers at 45 birr, all per kilo. Although it is not a holiday essential, the price of lime has soared at 60 birr per kilo.
Butter, another holiday essential that is mixed with different herbs and used in the making of delicious stews, is selling for 180 birr per kilo but in some places it can go down to 160 birr per-kilo. This specific type of butter is one that is usually sourced from smallholder farmers and the product doesn’t go through factoring processing. For the kind that is processed also referred to as Table Butter, a kilo is sold for 220 birr, remaining out of most people’s price range.
Addis Shopping Festival, an event that was held at the Millennium Hall has been one of the main attractions for shoppers and those that are just looking for a fun way to spend the day. The event had a lot of vendors selling locally made goods making it the best place to buy traditional clothing as well as leather products such as shoes, jackets and bags.
The event also had an exciting line of performances by well known artists such as Alemayhu Eshete, Dawit Melese, Helen Berhe and others. Small scale bazaars in street corners around Kazanchis and Arat Kilo were also filled with shoppers. These places are usually the best places to buy locally made cooking oil, flour, pasta products as well as dairy products at a reasonable price. Overall, the holiday market has been an exciting one adding to the festivities that started during the European Christmas and New Year celebrations and lasted until the Ethiopian Genna.