The victory marks the poorly-armed Ethiopians routed Italian force that sought to expand Rome’s fledgling 19th century colonial empire.
The celebration in Addis Ababa near Emperor Minilik II square attracted hundreds thousands of people who came from all walks of life.
Thousands of people largely on horseback also celebrated the Victory Day at Meskel Square in the city. These celebrants did not seem interested in recognizing the role played by Emperor Minilik II as the leader of Adwa Victory.
“It is impossible to take away the Victory of Adwa from the hearts and minds of Ethiopians and that of Africans. The Victory of Adwa is our identity and pride. One may try to suppress the Victory of Adwa due to political outlook but that would be a futile exercise. If we let down the Victory of Adwa, other black people will uphold it. It is tantamount to cheating yourself, if you try to separate the Victory of Adwa without Emperor Minilik,” Activist Tamagn Beyene has said.
125 years ago, Ethiopian Emperor Menelik and his wife Empress Taytu led a successful campaign against invading Italian forces, emerging victorious from the Battle at Adwa in the northern part of the country.
In addition to dashing the hopes of fascist Italy to capture and colonize the entire Horn of Africa region, the Adwa victory inspired a continent-wide movement of pan-Africanism.