The discovery of the True Cross by the Roman Empress Helena in the fourth century is remembered on Meskel, a Christian holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Orthodox and Eritrean Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian calendar places Meskel on the seventeenth Meskerem. Cross is known in Ge’ez as “meskel.” One of the most significant celebrations in Ethiopia is the Meskel festival. It is a cultural event that is highly recommended for international visitors and is commemorated with a massive bonfire.
Ethiopia uses a different calendar than the rest of the world, and its New Year is celebrated on September 11 (or September 12 in leap years) every year. Later in the month, though, is when the Ethiopian religious year’s largest festival takes place.
Ethiopians celebrate the True Cross on September 27 or 28 (depending on the year) in Meskel Square in Addis Abeba. The majority of foreign travellers who intend to visit Meskel in Ethiopia for the traditional festival must first get an Ethiopian visa. The Ethiopia Meskel celebration is an annual liturgical event in the Ethiopian Orthodox church.
It honors the purported finding of the actual cross that the Romans used to crucify Jesus.
According to mythology, Roman Empress Helena was given a vision in a dream in the fourth century BC directing her to the location of the cross.
Ethiopians celebrate the True Cross on September 27 or 28 (depending on the year) in Meskel Square in Addis Abeba. Before arriving to Meskel, foreign guests who intend to attend the traditional event must get an Ethiopian visa.
She gave the order for the citizens of Jerusalem to gather wood, and the smoke from a massive bonfire appeared to point to the spot where the cross was interred. Christians gather the charcoal and draw a cross on their foreheads with it.
Since it is thought that a piece of the cross Saint Helena discovered was carried to Ethiopia and is kept in the mountains of Amba Geshen, the True Cross Meskel celebration is regarded as the most significant religious holiday in Ethiopia.
Thousands of Ethiopians enter the area wearing vibrant robes. There is where the Demera, a huge bonfire built in honor of Empress Helena, is built. The Demera parade takes place during the day before the fire is set in the evening.
Religious leaders from all over Addis Abeba assemble with the general public to play drums, wave elaborate crosses, and decorate the firewood with yellow flowers before it is torched.