Feasts and Epiphany Ethiopia’s Timkat is the Feast of Epiphany, celebrating the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. It’s one of the biggest religious festivals in Ethiopia, and it’s also a time of new beginnings. Gondor hosts the largest of the Timkat festivals, with more than 200,000 pilgrims attending. Priests and deacons dress in silk robes, carry umbrellas, dance, and sing as they lead the procession. Participants dress in white while carrying the Tabot, a cloth-wrapped replica of the Ark of the Covenant (that held the Ten Commandments) in procession. Men spend time in prayer and chanting, the water is blessed, and then everyone dives into the frigid water for a symbolic baptism. The festival culminates with the Timkat feast, with flatbread, doro wat chicken, stews, and curries being served. Meskel is the first big festival of the New Year but also the second most im- portant event (after Timkat) in Ethiopia. The mass blooming of meskel, or yellow daisies, coincides with the time of the festival, so the people bundle them together, tie them to branches, and even set them ablaze. The festival once again celebrates the role of religion, and it takes place in Addis Ababa. Beyond the religious signifi- cance, though, it’s also a time for Ethiopians to return to their villages to celebrate the national holiday. It was cited as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for promoting diversity, unity, and integration.

Priests chanting prayers during the Timkat Feast of Epiphany.



Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online