Celebrating Meskel

 

 

CELEBRATING MESKEL

af Joakim Larsen,

October 2016

 

 

In Ethiopia Orthodox Christians celebrate Meskel in late September. The Demera Festival opens the festivitas on the evening before the holiday itself. That part of the celebration is held with the burning of bonfires throughout the country.

 

This yearly event (in 2016 held on September 26) marks the finding of the True Cross by Queen Helena in the fourth century. Following a revelation in her dream, the legend has it that she burnt a bonfire (demera) to locate where exactly the True Cross was burried.

 

The holiday is one of the central Orthodox celebrations in Ethiopia, not least because the followers believe that part of the true cross is still in Ethiopia after it arrived via Egypt. These remains are said to be kept in Amba Geshen in Wollo, Northern Ethiopia.

 

 

Posing in front of one of the many local bonfires. This one in Arada, Piassa.

 

 

Each area their style...

 

 

At the official city event in Meskel Square. Not many people this year...

 

 

Back in Arada, the first bonfire is being lit...

 

 

Many people wear colour syncronised shirts local for the area.

Here with the Ethiopian cross... on fire...

 

 

Sharing is happiness...