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Festivals in Ethiopia



Meskel (Finding of the True Cross)

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Meskal is second in importance only to Timket and has been celebrated for over 1,600 years. The word actually means “cross” and the feast commemorates when the cross of Christ was revealed to Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. In Addis Ababa, celebrations start in the early afternoon when a procession bearing flaming torches […]

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Timket (Epiphany)

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Timket is the greatest festival of the Ethiopian year, falling just 2 weeks after Ethiopian Christmas. It is actually a 3-day affair preceded by the eve of Timket when the dramatic processions take place through a night of fasting, to the great day itself and the commemoration of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. Ketera, […]

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Axum Tsion (Celebration of St. Mary)

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The Virgin is one of the most venerated of all religious figures in Ethiopia. About 33 days are annually dedicated to different celebrations in the commemoration of Mary. “Hidar Zion” is associated with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in Axum and the belief that the Ark itself is a symbolism to her […]

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Ethiopian Gena (Christmas)

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Year after year Christians recall the story of the Christ child in a manger, shepherds on Judean hills witnessing the celestial song of angels as they pronounced the Long Expected One had come. Celebrated on January 7th and preceded by a fast of 40 days, on the eve of Christmas people gather in churches for […]

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