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Meskal: Finding of the True Cross

Now registered with UNESCO as an element of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Meskel (27 September) commemorates the alleged 4th century discovery of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The centerpiece of this uniquely Ethiopian festival is the burning of a massive conical pyre called a Damera. The largest ceremony takes place in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square, where hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch the colorfully dressed priests chant, pray, and dance. The most historically poignant site to witness Meskel is Aksum’s Cathedral of Maryam T