The Timket festival is the celebration of Epiphany celebrated on January 19th (or 20th if it’s a leap year). Timket celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. During the ceremonies of Timket, the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, which is present on every Ethiopian altar is reverently wrapped in rich cloth and borne in procession on the head of the priest.
The Tabot, which is otherwise rarely seen by the laity, represents the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah when he came to the Jordan for baptism. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated near a stream or pool early in the morning. Then the nearby body of water is blessed towards dawn and sprinkled on the participants, some of whom enter the water and immerse themselves, symbolically renewing their baptismal vows. Hundreds attend the festival which is considered the second most celebrated festival in Ethiopia.Many are dressed in gold trimmed silk robes carrying umbrellas dancing and clapping to the moving to the tempo of traditional church drums and metal sistrum.
A beautiful tradition you don’t want to miss….make it part of your travel plans.
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