Annual festivals in Ethiopia Special annually holidays itinerary
Annual festivals in Ethiopia Special annually holidays itinerary
30 November 17 - 02 November 17

  1. Meskle (the finding of the true cross)
  2. Gishene Mariam ( a place where the true cross is kept)
  3. Daga Estefanos (in Bahir Dar)
  4. Qolebi Gabriel ( a place where most Ethiopian people prefer to go for pilgrim purpose)
  5. Axum Zion, Nov 30-in Axum (Celebration of St. Mary) ( home of the Ark of the covenant and people travel from the four corner for worship)
  6. Lalibela( Christmas Day Celebration)
  7. Gondar (Timket,/ Epiphany, very famous in Gonder )
  8. Fasika (Eastern )


MESKEL (the finding of the true cross) September 26th and the 27th

Meskel, one of the major annual festivals celebrated for two days begging September 26th. Ethiopian orthodox church has it that in the year 326, Queen Helenan ( empresss Helen) the mother of Constantine the Great, discovered the cross upon which Christ was crucified. She was unable to find the holy subject, and then she prayed for help and was directed by the smoke from a burning fire as to where the cross was buried. Since then the Ethiopian orthodox churches celebrate this holy festival every year throughout the country. In the middle ages, the Patriarch of Alexandria gave the Ethiopian Emperor Dawit half of the True Cross. A fragment of the True Cross is reputedly held at Gishen Mariam, northwest of Dessie.  Meskel, can be combined with other tour routes

HIDAR TSION (festival of the Virgin Mary in AXUM) November 30th

The original capital of the Kingdom of Aksum, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Africa.

Axum houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, in which lie the Tablets of Law upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed. The Hidar Tsion sees pilgrims from all over the country come to express their devotion; thanks after the fulfillment of a prayer and in the hope of miraculous heal. This can be combined with other tour routes

GENA (Ethiopian Christmas) January 7th           

The Ethiopian name given to Christmas is Ledet or Genna ( Qiddus Bale Wold) is another name for Christmas which, according to elders, comes from the word Gennana, meaning “imminent” to express the coming of the Lord and the freeing of mankind from sin. Ganna is also the name given to a hockey-like ball game.  Ganna (Christmas) in Lalibela is sees pilgrims travel to celebrate this colorful festival. The festivities begin people gather in the churches for mass. Everyone who travelled to see this festival stands throughout the worship service for the whole night. The clergy (scholars versed in the liturgy and music of the church) lift their voices in hymn and chant.  This can be combined with other tour routes

TIMKET (Ethiopian Epiphany) January 18th –January 20th

Timkat (means “baptism”) is the Ethiopian orthodox celebration of Epiphany. It is celebrated on January 19 or 20 on leap year), corresponding to the 10th day of Terr following the Ethiopian calendar. Timket celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. During the ceremonies of Timket, the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, which is present on every church, is reverently wrapped in rich cloth and borne in procession on the head of the Priest. The Tabot, which is otherwise rarely seen by the laity, represents the manifestation of Jesus as Messiash when he came to the Jordan for baptism.  Accompanying the procession are tens of thousands of church members and believers, chanting, dancing, drum-beating, Horn-blowing. It resembles the Old Testament. The water is blessed towards dawn and sprinkled on the participants, symbolically renewing their baptismal vows. The congregation then follows the bishops, elders and the clergy as the Tabots are carried back to their respective churches. This can be combined with other tour routes

FASIKA (Ethiopian Easter) April 22nd

Eastern is celebrated after 55 days of fasting (Hudadi or Abey Tsome), on Easter eve people go to church and celebrate with candles which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service which begins at about 7pm   and ends 3 AM.  Like the other festivals, Easter is colorfully celebrated at Lalibela, Gondar, and Axum and anywhere in Ethiopian orthodox churches.  This can be combined with other tour routes

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