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Timkat – Ethiopian Epiphany Jan 19 / 20

$0.00
Duration
1 day
Max People
100
Min Age
10+
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Description

Every year an event is celebrated by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church on the 10th of Tir, or 19th or 20th of January during a leap year of Georgian calendar called the Timket. Timket or Epiphany is an event which celebrated with great zeal, enthusiasm, and respect to commemorate the actual baptism of Jesus Christ in River Jordan. The festivities last for a total of three days during which processions and prayers are a common sight.

Thousands of people - dressed as a sea of white, priests and deacons, bearing golden-rimmed silk robes and umbrellas, performing religious dances and songs accompanied by a slowly building tempo of traditional church drums, leading the crowd in an immensely moving procession: All of which happen on Epiphany Day (Timkat) in Ethiopia.

The event attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around the world to the ancient land of churches at Lalibela and city of Gondar during winters. Contrary to what many believe, Timket is rather a festival of color, music, and religiosity all happening at once. Priests are all dressed up in festive Ethiopian clothing and robes that are heavily embellished, while some wear crowns that are so old that almost seem like a play reenactment from the bible. They carry the holy cross and chant melancholic tunes throughout the day-time processions; however, all priests are men and while the procession continues women are only allowed to witness the event from sidelines.

Highlights
  • Timkat, the Ethiopian Orthodox equivalent to Epiphany, is celebrated at churches throughout the country on January 19. The best place to be during Timkat is Gondar, where the festivities culminate in a crowded and colourful afternoon re-enactment of the first baptism at the 17th century Fasil’s Pool, which is filled with water for the occasion.
  • On the final day of the event, all men and women except for priests wear clean white traditional Ethiopian robes and followed by a procession that is led by the priests who however are dressed in luxuriant fabrics with luxuriously big and embellished umbrellas. There is singing and dancing while carrying religiously symbolic ornaments such as the holy cross. During the parade, the priests spray over the holy water on the onlookers. When all this is going on, some elderly choose to stick to the traditional ceremonial services such as holding the fans while other recites verses from the bible.

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