RHAPSODY OF COLOURS & FLAMES


September 28 , 2019


Thousands of people congregated in Mesqel Square in Addis Abeba on Friday, September 27, 2019, to celebrate the annual religious festival, Mesqel, which the square is named after.

Thousands of people congregated in Mesqel Square in Addis Abeba on Friday, September 27, 2019, to celebrate the annual religious festival, Mesqel, which the square is named after. It is a yearly celebration of the faithful in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. According to the church's tradition, it is a celebration of the finding of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. It is believed that the mother of Constantine, Saint Helena, saw a vision instructing her to find the lost cross. She had the people of Jerusalem burn a huge bonfire, and the direction of the smoke pointed to where the cross was found, according to legend. It is to commemorate this act of Helena that the bonfire, Demera, is lit in the middle of the square each year. It is a colourful and joyous celebration with thousands of priests and choirs from all the churches in the city and its surrounding area turning out adorned in their beautiful robes, displaying crosses and ceremonial umbrellas, singing and dancing to the beats of drums and cymbals. The square was a rhapsody of colours and songs filled with ecstatic crowds.


It is a yearly celebration of the faithful in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.


Among tight security, the people started streaming toward Mesqel Square early in the morning. Most main roads surrounding the square were closed to traffic from around 8:00am. Except for a stray bull that ran into the square, goring a few people and frightening the large crowd, the celebrations concluded without incident.


According to the church's tradition, it is a celebration of the finding of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.





PUBLISHED ON Sep 28,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1013]


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