As our lives will change sometime in the upcoming future, new holidays and celebrations take the front burner. The importance and knowledge of relevant historical traditions and festivities are now personal.
January 19 is the celebration of Timkat.
Simply put, it is the celebration of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River.
This three-day festival is the most vibrant and widely celebrated of all Ethiopian celebrations throughout the year. Celebrating Christ's baptism, crowds gather around a nearby body of water, which is blessed, then splashed onto them; religious vows are renewed. The tabot (the Ark of the Covenant) is then paraded back to the church accompanied by much singing and dancing. Addis Ababa is a well known location for this celebration. Lalibela is the ultimate epicentre.
Lalibela, a very sacred and holy place in north eastern Ethiopia is a centre of pilgrimage for many Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Though very isolated, the festival held there each year is unforgettable at the least. A World Heritage site, Lalibela ranks among the greatest religious historical sites in the Christian world. If time permits, Ben and I will absolutely leap at the opportunity to go and visit this site.
Until that time, we will read, research, listen, and learn; to soak up what we can about the birth place of our third child.