Gondar city is said to have attracted more than 500,000 visitors for Epiphany Timkat from across Ethiopia and abroad
January 18, 2021
Epiphany is one of the most colorful religious festivals in Ethiopia. Now recognized as UNESCO world heritage, it is attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists to the country although the Coronavirus situation has impacted it negatively.
The Ethiopian Church advised its followers that the holiday will be celebrated while observing
Today is the eve of the holiday, and it is locally known as Ketera. It marks the procession of the Ark of the Covenant to places with water features designated for the celebration. The Symbolism is that Jesus went to the River Jordan where he was baptized in the hands of John.
In the capital Addis Ababa, replicas of the Ark of the Covenant make procession to Jan Meda — which is nearby to the main campus of Addis Ababa University in Sidist Kilo.
Timkat is uniquely spectacular in Gondar — which attracts tourists from abroad and faithfuls of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church from across the country.
On Tuesday, the Ark of the Covenant, except one from saint Michael, make processions back to their respective churches. The procession for the Ark from St. Michel is the next day — which is commemorated as Saint Michael’s day in the tradition of Ethiopian Orthodox Church(the 12th day of the months in Ethiopian calendar except the last month which is only five days) And the celebration is cultural as much as it is religious.
“The feast of Timkat [ local name for Epiphany] is the greatest holiday which made us known across the world for our faith” Patriarch Abune Mathias said during the Ketera celebration in Jan Meda, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency.
Ethiopian politicians including the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, and regional leaders have conveyed best wishes on the occasion of the holiday.
The Prime Minister has conveyed a lengthy message, a written one which has become a customary practice for him, and shared it on his social media page. As it is the case before, he finds a way to embed political messages in his Gospel preaching like message. “Jesus beat devil’s conceit with humility,” perhaps a metaphor of the situation before and after the law enforcement operation against TPLF in the Tigray region Ethiopia.
Addis Ababa police and police in other cities, especially in Gondar, said that a security arrangement is made to ensure that the religious and cultural holiday is celebrated peacefully.
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