ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Epiphany, Timket, has been celebrated by Orthodox Christian faithful across the country.
The celebration marks the travel of Jesus Christ from Galilee to River Jordan and his baptism by John the Baptist.
This year, the celebration started on Wednesday afternoon as Tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenants) from several churches came to spend a night in tents together.
The priests who were ceremoniously carrying the Talbots to their designated public spaces were accompanied by tens of thousands of singing and chanting faithful.
The people spend the night attending night-long prayers, including the Eucharistic Liturgy.
Hundreds of thousands participate in the main festival on Thursday.
In Addis Ababa, Church leaders, mayor Adanech Abiebie and faithful adorned with cultural and colorful dresses attended the celebration at Jan Meda.
Orthodox Church Patriarch Abune Mathias, who sprinkled holy water on the congregation, said the celebration was a reminder of the need for peace and love urging the public to cherish them.
“If we have carefully cherished the peace given by almighty, everything will be in its proper place and go in the normal course,” he said. “Let’s pursue the gift of God which is lasting peace and blessings.”
Mayor Adanech also extended her Timket best wishes to Christians gathered at Jan-Meda.
She also thanked the residents of the Capital and the security officers for their roles in the peaceful celebration of the festival.
Similar celebrations have been undergone across the nation including Gondar City with faithful attending the festival in places designated for the festival.
More than 120 priests performed religious songs and hymns of Yared in Gondar hosted this year by Menbere-Mengest Medhane-Alem Church this year.
Timket was also celebrated with colorful ceremonies in different parts of the Tigray region, reports the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).
Abba Mehari Habte, Head of the Axum Tsion Mariam Monastery, told ENA that the faithful are celebrating Timket in the region with optimism thanks to the return of peace and stability in northern Ethiopia.
Each Tabot later returned back to its respective church with an even more colorful ceremony with crowds singing spiritual songs.
The celebration across the nation has concluded without any security problems, as per The Ethiopian Federal police.
Ethiopian epiphany/Timket is the fourth intangible heritage of humanity inscribed by UNESCO, next to Meskel, the Geda system, and Fichee Chambalala.