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Ethiopia Festivals

Ethiopian Festivals

Ethiopia has a number of festivals throughout the year, starting with spring, The time of The New Year, also called Enkutatash or Kidus Yohannes is celebrated on Meskerem 1 or September 11. Another major religious celebration is Meskal, which falls on September 27, said to be in memory of the finding of the true cross by the Empress Heleni. This national holiday has been celebrated throughout Ethiopia for centuries. Vast bonfires are lit countrywide the night before the celebration , and on the day it self there is dancing and feasting for everyone. This festival coincides with the mass blooming of the golden Yellow meskal daisies, called adey abeba in Amharic. People of all ages are seen in the streets carrying fresh bunches of the yellow flowers. The most unique of the country’s festivals are Kulubi Gabriel and Gishen Mariam. Huge crowds arrive to pray for health, for a new baby, for a special favor or for a good harvest, or to give thanks for wishes already granted.


Ethiopia’s most celebrated festival is Timket, the Epiphany, which falls on January 19 and is the easiest for visitors to witness and enjoy. The Holy Tabot , replica of the Arc of the Covenant, is removed from each church around the country the day before the celebration and taken to a central area where the ceremony will take place. The following morning, the church officials, resplendent in their gorgeous regalia, assemble around the Tabot and sprinkle holy water over all the Christians present and receive the renewals of their vows. After this is done the congregation follows the bishops, elders and clergy as the Tabot is carried back to the church from whence it came accompanied by much singing and dancing.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 July 2012 16:22)

 
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