MESKEL/DAMERA

 

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Meskel is one of the biggest Ethiopian Orthodox holliday. Meskel ( which means Cross)is celebrated to mark the day that the cross of christ has been recovered: according to the church chronicles, the crucifix of Christ was lost after his crucification. Considered as the most valuable item in Christianity, story has it that after days of fasting and prayers, the cross was finally recovered when pious followers torched a bonfire: the smoke lead them to the location where the cross was burried.

Damera at meskel squareBonfire at Meskel square

Meskel, celebrated on the 17th of every Ethiopian new year, is marked by eye catching ceremonies. On the eve of the holliday ( the 16th) many roads accross the country will be temporary closed for vehicles as hundreds of thousands flock to places where bonfires as tall as 20 meters or more are erected. After the blessing of the pope and, in the case of neighborhoods by elders or superior priests, the bonfires will be torched. Beautiful religious dances and songs decorate the event.

 Bonfire in Ethiopiaimage

 

Special Places to go to: The biggest square in Addis Ababa is called Meskel Square. By attending the event there you will join tens of thousands in this annual event.

Meskel However is most celebrated by the Gurage people; festivities there continue for almost a week. You can go to one of the Gurage towns in a 2 hour drive to witness their spectacular celebration

 Exact date of Buhe in 2013: September 28

 Related links

- BUHE BONFIRE

- MESKEL DAMERA CEREMONY

- EPIPHANY

- ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR

- ERECHA OF THE OROMO

- ST GUEBRIEL PILGRIMAGE

- BODE CEREMONY

- BULL JUMPING CEREMONY

 

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