Africa is well known for its diverse variety of history, culture and religion, and this comes alive in the many festivals held throughout the continent.
In Ethiopia Christians and Muslims live side by side; with the majority of the population belonging to the Orthodox Christian faith. The country’s two main festivals are Christian religious celebrations.
The Ethiopians and pilgrims from far and wide, gather to rejoice at Christmas at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela, where 11 stunning monolithic churches are carved out of the rock. It’s truly an amazing sight to behold with thousands of people coming here to take part in the all night church services.
Timkat is an event to celebrate the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and is held in the city of Addis Ababa. The men and woman who gather here tend to wear traditional white clothing, whereas the children will be dressed in bright vibrant colours, and the clergy will wear intricately designed ceremonial robes during the festival processions.
Ethiopia’s festivals offer a real insight into the importance of tradition and religion, and you are sure to be amazed by the number of pilgrims who travel to them and the dedication they show. It’s a wonderful experience to witness first-hand.