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Ethiopian Festivals

One of the unique things that you will find in Ethiopia as compare to many African countries is that the festivals that are taking place in the country. The main one are Enqutatash/ Ethiopian New year/, Meskel/ finding of the true Cross/, Genna/ Ethiopian Christmas/, Timket /epiphany/, and Sheikh Hussein.




Meskel / Finding of the True cross

Meskel is celebrated every year on 27 September for the commemoration of finding of the true cross by Empress Helena who is the mother of Constantine the great by praying to god using a smoke for guiding her in finding the place where it is buried. This the cross where Jesus Christ was crucified and this cross-found at Gishen Mariam, the Amahra regional state of South Wollo and there is special pilgrimage festival taking place every year on 31st of September.



Timket/ Feast of epiphany

Timket is the biggest festival of the year that is celebrated every year on 19th January. It is a three-day affair starting from the eve of epiphany with the colorful procession. And the following day is celebrated in commemoration of Christ baptism at Jordan River by John the Baptist, which is the day of epiphany and the third day is devoted to the archangel of St. Michael's day.




Genna (Ethiopian Christmas)

Genna is celebrated on the 7th of January every year and it is a religious festival that is celebrated throughout the night inside the church and will be followed by a special ceremony of chanting and dancing outside the church and this celebration is best attended at Lalibella for it's colorful ceremony, since it is unique to lallibella, at St.George church with all the drum, dancing and chanting ceremony by the cliff of the rock-hewn cross design church, which is the last and best architectural work of King Lalibella.




Sheikh Hussein / Ethiopian Muslim Pilgrimage

As Ethiopia is the only country that offered sanctuary to the first Muslim immigrant when they were denied the right to pursue their religion by the Quraysh people who were the rulers of Mecca during prophet Mohamed and King Negash granted an asylum during his ruling time of 615 and among the refugees were the prophet's daughter Ruquyya, his future wives Umma Habiba and Umma Salama and his cousin and leader of the religious exiles. Sheikh Hussein pilgrims' festival takes place on September and February at desert planes of Bale province in Sheikh Hussein shrine, which is decorated with glistening white domes float in a vast sea of emerald green scrub. This shrine is devoted to the renowned saint, sheikh Hussein and the tomb of sheikh Hussein is placed at the shrine.


Last modified on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:17

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