The followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church are celebrating Epiphany across the country, including in Mekelle, where the open-air religious observance was suspended for three years due to the war between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Epiphany is a three-day-long event. Starts with Ketera and ends with Kana Zegelila on the third day. In Addis Ababa, replicas of the Ark of the Covenant were taken to Jan Meda in a solemn religious procession. They will be returned to the church in the same solemn procession on Saturday. On the third day, the feast of KanaZegelila is observed.
Government restrictions on not using Ethiopia’s historical flag seem to no longer be in effect, as the Ethiopian Church is using flags with Ethiopian colors. Addis Ababa and Federal Police have announced security arrangements for the celebration. Some roads in the capital are closed for the duration of the celebration.
In Gondar, where the Epiphany celebration used to attract tens of thousands of foreign tourists, it is not as colorful as it used to be due to the security situation in the region.
In Orthodox traditions, Epiphany commemorates the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ at the River Jordan in the hands of John the Baptist.
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