Ethiopian Christmas Festival

Senait Ethiopia Tours

TOUR CODE: SET021

TOUR TYPE: FESTIVAL AND HISTORIC

DURATION: 12 DAYS/ 11 NIGHTS

MEANS OF TRANSPORT: DRIVE & FLIGHT

PROGRAM

TRIP OVERVIEW

In this fascinating country, you will be amazed to witness how ancient historical traditions have been preserved in a remarkable manner for thousands of years. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. Like nowhere else in this country you will find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an ancient faith.

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    Day 01: Arrive Addis Ababa
    Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Hotel. There will be a short drive to your hotel. If you arrive in the morning an optional city tour can be arranged.

    Day 02: Bahirdar
    In the morning, drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with a stopover at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho and Goha Tsion. 

    Day 03: Bahir Dar
    After breakfast, we will make boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana. After having lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 KM to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.

    Day 04: Gondar
    After breakfast, drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery to arrive at Gondar around lunchtime. After check in to Goha Hotel and having lunch there, we will start tour of Gondar which include: the Royal Enclosure, the pool of King Fasilidas, and we will also visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside. 

    Day 05: Simien Mountains National Park
    After an early breakfast, we will drive to Simien Mountains National park. Enroute we will be visiting the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village. Driving from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, nothing prepares you for the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rest of the day, trek around the park to explore the marvelous view and wildlife of the park including Sankaber.

    Day 06: Axum
    Drive to Axum via the Tekeze valley over viewing the western side of the Semien mountain. Admire the landscape of “Limalimo” and transfer to hotel.

    Day 07: Axum
    After breakfast, we will start to visit the ancient city of Axum. Your visit in Axum include: the Stele Square, Kaleba Tombs, the 4th century Christian inscription of King Ezana, Queen of Sheba’s Palace, Archeological Museum, and Tsion Mariam Church where the original Ark of the Covenant is housed. 


    Day 08: Mekele
    In the morning, drive to Mekele en-route drive through the stunning and historical mountains of Adwa. some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including: Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-atsbeha, Dugum Selassie and so on.

    Day 09: Lalibela-Celebration at Bete Emanuel
    After breakfast, start driving north to Lalibela through Sekota en-route you will visit Yimrhane Kirstos and different villages of the Agwe tribal people. In the evening, we will drive to Bete Emanuel to attend the special celebration of Emanuel with chanting and dancing by the priests and deacons. The ceremony will be accompanied by a capacity crowd of pilgrims who came to witness this event from far of hamlets and inaccessible valleys on their bare foot walking for weeks and even months.

    Day 10: Lalibela-Ethiopian Christmas
    In the morning, we will drive to the sites where we will find the concentration of some of the remarkable rock-hewn churches of Lalibela from 1200 AD. At night, we will attend the Christmas Eve ceremony to be held at Bete Mariam church. This evening again, you will attend the Ethiopian Christmas Eve Ceremony with the pilgrims. The dancing by the deacons and the priests continue throughout the night and around while the pilgrims clap and ululate to the drum beat. At mid night, there will be a candle light ceremony to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

    Day 11: Lalibela
    In the morning, we will once more drive to Bete Mariam to witness the final ceremony of Ethiopian Christmas. On this day, as it has been going on centuries over centuries the priest will be lined up with their drums on the cliff edge of Bete Mariam, called Mame Garia and some more on the bottom representing the shepherds and the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. You can’t help, but witness a scene the same to this one has been going here on this day centuries over centuries in the same manner.

    After having lunch and rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous history with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches. The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Merkorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos. At the end of the tour, there will be a special Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house.

    Day 12: Lalibela-Addis Ababa-Departure
    After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your departure time optional city tour of Addis Abeba. In the evening, there will be complimentary farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks.(flight schedule permitting) At the end of the Farwell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour!

  • DAY 1: Arrive Addis Ababa

    Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Hotel. There will be a short drive to your hotel. If you arrive in the morning an optional city tour can be arranged.

  • DAY 2: Bahirdar

    In the morning, drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with a stopover at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho and Goha Tsion.

  • DAY 3: Bahir Dar

    After breakfast, we will make boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana. After having lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 KM to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.

  • DAY 4: Gondar

    After breakfast, drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery to arrive at Gondar around lunchtime. After check in to Goha Hotel and having lunch there, we will start tour of Gondar which include: the Royal Enclosure, the pool of King Fasilidas, and we will also visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside.

     

  • DAY 5: Simien Mountains National Park

    After an early breakfast, we will drive to Simien Mountains National park. Enroute we will be visiting the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village. Driving from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, nothing prepares you for the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rest of the day, trek around the park  to explore the marvelous view and wildlife of  the park including  Sankaber.

  • DAY 6: Axum

    Drive to Axum via the Tekeze valley over viewing the western side of the Semien mountain.  Admire the landscape of “Limalimo”  and transfer to hotel.

  • DAY 7: Axum

    After breakfast, we will start to visit the ancient city of Axum. Your  visit in Axum include: the Stele Square, Kaleba Tombs, the 4th century Christian inscription of King Ezana, Queen of Sheba’s Palace, Archeological Museum, and Tsion Mariam Church where the original Ark of the Covenant is housed.

  • DAY 8: Mekele

    In the morning, drive to Mekele en-route drive through the stunning and historical mountains of Adwa. some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including: Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-atsbeha, Dugum Selassie and so on.

  • DAY 9: Lalibela-Celebration at Bete Emanuel

    After breakfast, start driving north to Lalibela through Sekota en-route you will visit Yimrhane Kirstos and different villages of the Agwe tribal people. In the evening, we will drive to Bete Emanuel  to attend the special celebration of Emanuel with chanting and dancing by the priests and deacons. The ceremony will be accompanied by a capacity crowd of pilgrims who came to witness this event from far of hamlets and inaccessible valleys on their bare foot walking for weeks and even months. 

  • DAY 10: Lalibela-Ethiopian Christmas

    In the morning, we will drive to the sites where we will find the concentration of some of the remarkable rock-hewn churches of Lalibela from 1200 AD. At night, we will attend the Christmas Eve ceremony to be held at Bete Mariam church. This evening again, you will attend the Ethiopian Christmas Eve Ceremony with the pilgrims. The dancing by the deacons and the priests continue throughout the night and around while the pilgrims clap and ululate to the drum beat. At mid night, there will be a candle light ceremony to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • DAY 11: Lalibela

    In the morning, we will once more drive to Bete Mariam to witness the final ceremony of Ethiopian Christmas. On this day, as it has been going on centuries over centuries the priest will be lined up with their drums on the cliff edge of Bete Mariam, called Mame Garia and some more on the bottom representing the shepherds and the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. You can’t help, but witness  a scene the same to this one has been going here on this day centuries over centuries in the same manner.

    After having lunch and rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous history with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches. The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Merkorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos. At the end of the tour, there will be a special Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house.

  • DAY 12: Lalibela-Addis Ababa-Departure

    After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your departure time optional  city tour of Addis Abeba. In the evening, there will be complimentary farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks.(flight schedule permitting) At the end of the Farwell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour!

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CONTACT WITH US

+251 116 294039

info@senaitethiopia.com