Ethiopians Celebrating Timket


Ena January 19/2019

Ethiopians across the country are colorfully celebrating Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany), to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Inscribed in 2019 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Ethiopian Epiphany celebrated all over the country to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.

The commemoration starts on the eve of the main festival, known as Ketera, means blocking the flow of water for the blessing of the celebrants.

On Ketera, Tabots – replicas of the Ark of the Covenant – proceed to the place where they stayed the night.

Carrying on their heads, priests, accompanied by a great ceremony, transport the Tabots to the Timkete-Bahir – a pool, river or artificial reservoir.

On the following day, the actual festival, the celebration starts early in the morning with pre-sunrise rituals, followed by the sprinkling of the blessed water on the congregation, as well as other ceremonies.

Up on the conclusion of the religious ceremonies at the Timkete-Bahir, the Tabot begin their procession back to their respective churches, involving colorful ceremony with various traditional and religious songs.

In the two-day celebration, the clergy, bearing robes and umbrellas of many hues, and Sunday school students dressed in colorful church clothes perform rollicking dances and songs.

At the end, when the Tabots safely restored to their churches, everyone go home to continue the celebration with family and neighbors at home.