True Cross,Meskal

True Cross,Meskal

The True Cross is the name for physical remnants traditionally believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. According to a number of early writers, the Empress Helena, (250–330 AD) mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, at a date after 312 AD when Christianity was legalized throughout the Empire, travelled to the Holy Land, founding churches and establishing relief agencies for the poor. It was at this time that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses used at the crucifixion of Jesus and the two thieves that were executed with him. By a miracle it was revealed which of the three was the True Cross. Many churches (including Ethiopian Orthodox Church) possess fragmentary remains which are by tradition alleged to be those of the True Cross.

Meskal, meaning Cross in Amharic version, is one of the most important festivals in Ethiopia. Almost all Ethiopian Christian people celebrate the legendary event; “The Finding of the True Cross”. It has a long history and was widely believed that first celebrated in AD 326.

The finding of the True Cross is celebrates in Ethiopia on every 27September .The celebration of Meskel assures the presence of the True Cross at mountain of Gishen Mariam monastery and also commemorates the events carried out by Empress Helena. 

In the central highlands, the festival begins on Meskal eve by planting a green tree in town squares and village marketplaces. Everyone brings a pole topped with the beautiful yellow Meskal daisies (dry tall plant), which are abundant in Ethiopia at the end of the rains, placed to form a towering pyramid which is then set alight.

In Addis, large crowds gather in Meskel square near the Church of Saint Estifanos. A colorful procession gathers around the huge pyramid and the torch bearers set it alight. Feasting, drinking and dancing continue until dawn. When the central pole of the pyramid falls down, marking the climax of the event. The next day people return to the fire to make the sign of the cross in the remaining-ashes.

In the southern lands of the Oromo, Gurage, Kambata, Hadiya, Welayta and Gamo people, the festival is the most important event of the year and lasts for at least a week! 

Celebrate Meskel Festival in Addis Ababa, Visit Addis Ababa, Discover Merkato, enjoy with tribal live dance centers in Addis Ababa before departure, visit Entoto Maryam, Lucy, Museums in Addis Ababa….

Itinerary

Program: Meskal Festival

Tour Code: Lalibela 02

Duration: 13 Nights (14 Days)

Transportation: Land

Period: in every September

Day1: Arrive to Addis. Overnight – hotel

Day2: City Tour of Addis Ababa & (Meskal Festival). Overnight – hotel

Day3: Drive to Dessie. Overnight – hotel

Day4: Drive to Lalibela. Overnight – hotel

Day5: Lalibela Churches. Overnight – hotel

Day6: Drive to Mekelle via Yimrahine Kristos cave Church. Overnight – hotel

Day7: Drive to Axum. Overnight – hotel

Day8: Axum Sites. Overnight – hotel

Day9: Drive to Semien Mountains National Park. Overnight – tented camp

Day10: Drive to Gondar. Overnight – hotel

Day11: Drive to Bahir Dar. Overnight – hotel

Day12: Blue Nile and monasteries on Lake Tana. Overnight – hotel

Day13: Drive to Addis Ababa. Overnight – hotel

Day 14: departure 

Notice: This itinerary can be amended upon request

Click here to request this tour 

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