Timkat celebration, Mekele, Ethiopia

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Timkat is the greatest festival of orthodox Christians in Ethiopia.  It celebrates the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan by John the Baptist.  The main event takes place on January 19th, and the day before, the tabots of each church (a replica of the Arc of the Covenant and the ten tablets of the law) are carried out in procession to a place near a river where the next day’s celebration will take place.  The ceremony is accompanied by hymns and dances of the priests, drum beating, bell ringing and blowing of trumpets.

We crossed this procession as we arrived in Mekele.  We were quite lucky — it was beautiful.

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