This festival celebrates both the New Year and the Feast of John the Baptist at the end of the long rains in Spring, when the Highlands become covered in wild flowers. Children dressed in new clothes dance through the villages, distributing garlands and tiny paintings. In the evening every house lights a bonfire and there is singing and dancing.
The True Cross is the name for physical remnants traditionally believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. According to a number of early writers, the Empress Helena, (250–330 AD) mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, at a date after 312 AD when Christianity was legalized throughout the Empire, travelled to the Holy Land, founding churches and establishing relief agencies for the poor. It was at this time that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses used at the crucifixion of Jesus and the two thieves that were executed with him. By a miracle it was revealed which of the three was the True Cross. Many churches (including Ethiopian Orthodox Church) possess fragmentary remains which are by tradition alleged to be those of the True Cross.
Meskal, meaning Cross in Amharic version, is one of the most important festivals in Ethiopia. Almost all Ethiopian Christian people celebrate the legendary event; “The Finding of the True Cross”. It has a long history and was widely believed that first celebrated in AD 326.
The finding of the True Cross is celebrates in Ethiopia on every 27September .The celebration of Meskel assures the presence of the True Cross at mountain of Gishen Mariam monastery and also commemorates the events carried out by Empress Helena.
This well-known holiday fall on 7th January. Genna is the name for Ethiopian Christmas. It is celebrated during the same season as that of the west. Christmas starts on the eve with a mid night mass for priests and the faithful. The major church celebrations in Addis Ababa are held at Trinity cathedral and in Lalibella rock-hewed churches.
The clergies, Priests, Bishop & people lift their voice in hymns and chant just as it has been practiced since 4th century on which Ethiopia (Habasha, Abyssinia) has been accepted Christianity as official religion of the country.
After mass praying, the fast will be broken, and then all classes of people disperse to their homes. Food and drink will be in abundance at these times. Relatives will have a chance to meet and share life and experience.
Timket is the greatest Ethiopian religious festival. Timkat festival dates back to the legendary history of The Ark of The Covenant. It is believed by Orthodox Church and some scholars that The Ark of Israel, which they were given from God through prophet Mosses, is rested here in Axum, Ethiopia. It is primarily to glorify and commemorate the Ark and the baptism of Jesus the Christ in River Jordan that almost all Ethiopians attend during 18-20 January. During these times, the ark (the duplicate of the original ark) of every church will be seen being carried by clergy men. Attendants will wear the most favorite clothes and play (dance) in front of the Ark. This is more original in Lalibela.
Fassika (Easter) falls on every 27April. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church offers special daily prayers during the Fassika season. The church members and those who offer spiritual teachings in the church do not eat until 3 o’clock in the afternoon with the exception of Saturday and Sunday when prayers are conducted early in the morning. This will be continued for 55 consecutive fasting days. Those who participated in fasting will attend the eastern eve at the church praying until 3 o’clock in the morning to hear the announcement “Christ has risen!” Fissika is unique for ornaments of priest’s robes, umbrellas, and etc. Different and plenty of gifts to the children and best traditional clothes to adults will dramatize all over the country. Life seems so wonderful in this time.
The church was built in 1880.The festival of Saint Gabriel (kulubi Gabriel), the Archangel, is celebrated on every December (Tahsas) 19 Ethiopian calendar (December 28 Gregorian calendar) which culminates in a pilgrimage to Kulubi, about 68 kilometers from Dire Dawa. Orthodox Tewahido (one in union) Christians mark the celebration with colorful processions and ceremonies. Kulubi is the largest pilgrimage place in Ethiopia. Pilgrims (about 100,000 People) walk up the hill to the church to fulfill their vow and give gifts to the church. People around the world gather in December for Kulubi. The area surrounding the church becomes almost a carnival site with the arrival of the multitude starting from Tahsas 18(27 December).Babies born through Gabriel's intervention are brought to the front of the Church for baptism. During the duration of the celebration about 1,000 babies may be christened, most of them named after Saint Gabriel.
Ethiopia’s most important place of Muslim Pilgrimage is situated on the borders of Arsi and Bale regions and quite close to the boarder of Harare. The site is visited twice a year by many thousands of pilgrimages from all over eastern Ethiopia, and comprises a large complex of mosques, shrines, and tombs surrounded by a stout wall.