African Culture

Timkat; One of the biggest festivals in Ethiopia

Travelers can gain a valuable understanding of Ethiopia’s religion, culture, and traditions by spending time there. Timkat, which honors Christ’s baptism, lasts for three days. The 19th of January is the most significant day since it is when the baptismal vows are renewed and the water is blessTinkatt

Timkat, Ethiopia
Photo credit: CGTN Africa

Epiphany celebrations are held by the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. a celebration among Orthodox Christians to commemorate Jesus Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. On January 19, which is the 11th day of Terr in the Ge’ez calendar, it is observed.

Timkat commemorates Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River.Timkat (Timket), one of the most significant festivals in Ethiopia, is observed all over the nation.

Timkat is a three-day festival that is celebrated in Ethiopia. To participate in Timkat, which incorporates processions, singing, and dancing, people travel to Ethiopia.

The Timkat takes place in the Ethiopia’s “cathedral” for ordination which is located in Lalibela, which is also the country’s most popular tourist destination. King Lalibela, who had a vision of the Holy City of Jerusalem in the 13th century, hewn 11 churches into the rock and built them at this spiritual center.

Lalibela is all about procession, pilgrimage, and prayer all year long, not only around Timkat. You can participate in the festivities in additional cities, including as Addis Abeba, Gondar, and Mekel


Timkat, Ethiopia
Photo credit: The guardianti

Since Christianity is the most popular religion in Ethiopia and 43% of people identify as Orthodox Christians, many Ethiopians observe Timkat. The day before Timkat, January 18 (January 19 in a leap year), preparations are made. Tabots, or replicas of the Ark of the Covenant, are taken from churches on this day and wrapped in fabric and silk.

The procession to the river or bath is led by the senior priest of each church while carrying the tabots. The tabot serve as a representation of the tablets on which God gave Moses the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai.  During the night, the priests and a few other participants keep watch over the tabots. On January 19, mass is held from the wee hours of the morning until roughly seven in the morning.  Locals cover their heads with scarves and wear white attire.

After the service, prominent church leaders speak and the water is blessed. Following that, participants immerse themselves in the water to reaffirm the pledges they made during the baptism.A crucial component of the festival is the recreation of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Following the recreation of Jesus’ baptism, travelers gather with their families for an unique Timkat feast. A key component of Timkat is the Ark of the Covenant, a golden casket made of wood that houses two stone tablets that record the Ten Commandments.

 


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Francis Chidera
the authorFrancis Chidera
Popularly known as Chokolate is a content creator. A lover of simplified words making it easy to get to a wider audience. It pains to see that Africans are forgetting and neglecting who they are, hence, I am passionate about reminding us of our culture. I work with 54history on the African culture category, to achieve this aim.

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