Ethiopian Festivals


The religious festivals of the Ethiopian Orthodox church are a highlight of the Ethiopian calendar with ceremonies held throughout the country.  According to legend, Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, went to visit his father in Jerusalem, and he brought back to Ethiopia the Ark of the Covenant, containing the tablets God had given to Moses and is said to be still preserved in Axum. Every Ethiopian church contains a copy of the Ark of the Covenant, called “Tabot”. During some religious ceremonies these copies are hidden in heavy and colorful brocades and carried in processions.

Gena Ethiopian Christmas

The colorful ceremony of Christmas Eve is held within the unforgettable rock hewn churches of Lalibela. ...
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Eve of Timket (Epiphany)

The holy Tabot, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, is taken from each church to a central area ...
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Timket Baptism of Christ

The festival commemorates Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. ...
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Hosanna Palm Sunday

The Sunday before Easter is the Feast of Hosanna or known as Palm Sunday. ...
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Fasika Ethiopian Easter

A fascinating all night prayer vigil is available at all Orthodox Churches. ...
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Buhe Transfiguration Feast

Buhe commemorates the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor. ...
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Enkutatash Ethiopian New Year

Enkutatash represents the first day of the New Year in Ethiopia. ...
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Meskel Finding of The True Cross

This vibrant national holiday has been observed throughout the country by Ethiopian Christians for over 1,600 years. ...
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Hidar Tsion

Hidar Tsion is the main festival celebrated in Axum. The Mariam Tsion church in Axum is said to house the Ark of the Covenant. ...
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