The faithful lean from a Sidist Kilo sidewalk in bright white threads to catch a whiff of frankincense. The occasion was Timqet, a religious holiday that commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ; it is celebrated by followers of the Orthodox churches in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The communicates made up a procession led by priests and cantors, and where the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, is brought out. The main event occurs in Jan Meda, where the faithful were sprinkled with holy water in the early hours of January 19, 2022.

Timqet was celebrated warmly across the rest of the capital. Green, yellow and red, which have become staple colours of the celebration, were hung above streets in most parts of Addis Abeba. The Timqet displays were also richer with elaborate designs of Tabots. The holiday is more notably celebrated in the city of Gonder, in the Amhara Regional State, at Fasilides’ Bath. The regional government put a premium on successfully carrying out the festival to showcase a relative return to normalcy from war and instability. It shares this ambition with the federal government, which has spent this month putting the spotlight on what administration officials dubbed the "Great Ethiopian Homecoming." The other significant occasion on the event calendar was a Christmas celebration in Lalibela, also in the Amhara Regional State. The Homecoming will wrap up on Sunday with the Great Ethiopian Run, a 10Km running event postponed by a couple of months due to the civil war.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 22,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1134]

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