ETHIOPIAN FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS
ETHIOPIAN EPIPHANY: TIMKET
Timket; Ethiopian Epiphany, is one of the colorful holiday commemorates, Jesus Christ’s baptism by Saint John in the Jordan River, celebrate by the Ethiopian orthodox church faithfully every year, in January 19, two weeks after Ethiopian Christmas. It is three days fest starting from the eve of Timiket, in January 18, called Ketra, colorful procession and ceremonies; continue until the holiday ends on January 20th. On the eve of the holiday, priests take the Tabot, the replica ark of the covenant, containing the Ten Commandments from each church to the nearby open space.
The Tabots [replica ark of the covenant] concealed by an ornamental cloth are taken to the tent close the consecrated pool or steam. They are accompanied by ringing of Bells, Blowing of trumpets and the burning of incense all the way from their churches to the place they spend the night.
At dawn the priest extinguishes a candle burning on a pole set in a nearby pool or steam using a ceremonial cross, some of the congregation leaps into the pool, while others looking for slashing by the priest. The Tabots are then taken back to the churches in procession accompanied by equestrian, while the festival continues. Despite being an exclusive religious festival, the holiday has been used to select brides for many families who still abide by cultural marriage.
ETHIOPIAN EASTER: “FASIKA”
Easter is the most important annual religious feast for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers; commemorating Jesus’ resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion and celebrates after 55 fasting days in which no animal product is eaten. On Easter eve people go to church with candles to celebrate, which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service, which begins at about early midnight Ethiopian time.
After the completion of the mass, people go home to break their feast with the meat of chicken, slaughtered the previous night, accompanied with injera and traditional drinks called tella local Ethiopian Beer or tej, honey win. Like Christmas, Easter is also a day of family reunion, an expression of good wishes with exchange of gifts like lamb, goat or loaf of bread.