Skip to comments.Ethiopia Celebrates Meskel, A Christian Holiday All Its Own
Posted on 10/02/2013 7:52:17 PM PDT by marshmallow
A massive bonfire blazed in the central square of Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa, on Thursday night. But by Friday morning, the mess had been swept away, leaving nothing but a giant spot of soot on the asphalt.
Thousands of people had flocked to the arena, called Meskel Square, to watch the ceremonial lighting of the fire for the eve of Meskel, a national holiday also known as the Finding of the True Cross. Ethiopians from across the country -- and visitors from around the world -- carried yellow daises, wooden crosses and wax candles as the pile of wood burned down to the pavement. Smaller bonfires were lit after sunset throughout the city, in backyards and on street corners, and celebrations continued throughout the night.
On Friday morning, the square was still buzzing; Orthodox Christians, many with soot on their foreheads in the shape of a cross, congregated at Meskel Square or paid a visit to the nearby Estifanos Church. After the spectacle of Meskel eve, the holiday itself is a time for rest, family togetherness and feasting -- though Sept. 27 fell on a Friday this year, a fasting day, which means that Orthodox Christians will have to abstain from meat.
"Families come together for the ceremony," said Johannes, 34, who is pursuing his Master's degree in Addis. "It's a celebration to join people together, hand to hand. For the people, for God, for the government, and for prayer."
Legend has it that on this day around 330 AD, St. Helena -- who is known as Nigist Eleni in Ethiopia and was the mother of Rome's first Christian emperor, Constantine -- found the cross on which Jesus had been crucified. In accordance with a revelation she'd had in a dream, Helena burned a giant pile of........
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But but but my white liberal elementary school teacher told me they celebrate Kwanzaa!
Kwanzaa, a fake, anti white, anti christian holiday made up by an imprisoned woman beater.
I learned something new! Fascinating.
They really celebrate the “old time religion”.
Do they celebrate it with mescal?
Glad to see they celibrated their Christian Heritage! They have faced off islamic attackers for many centuries! They were worshiping Christ when much of Europe was still bowing to pagan Roman Gods.