Timket - Ethiopian Epiphany- Christ’s Baptism - Jan 20th

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Timket in remembrance of Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist is the greatest festival of the year falling on the month of January two weeks after the Ethiopians Christmas.

 Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Janmeda (the largest square in Addis) for singing, dancing and to receive a blessing from the patriarch. The Church tabots (so called replicas of the Arc of the Covenant) are taken to a nearby body of water on the afternoon of the eve of the festival.

 

Dramatic and colorful processions happen during the night; ringing of bells and bowling of trumpets and swinging bronze censors all mixed together make the day most colorful. The tabots rest in their special tents in the meadow each hoisting a proud banner depicting the church’s saint.

The following morning, the crowds gather around the blessed water to have it splashed upon them. By this act the people are renewing their commitment to the faith. Then the tabots are paraded back to their churches accompanied by much singing and dancing.