Tourists Astounded by Ethiopia's Meskel Celebration Call Others to See it For Themselves - ENA English
Tourists Astounded by Ethiopia's Meskel Celebration Call Others to See it For Themselves
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- Some tourists who attended the celebration of Demera, the eve of Meskel, a UNESCO-inscribed Ethiopian Orthodox Church's biggest open-air religious festival, were astounded by its authentic religious and cultural dimensions calling others to see it for themselves.
The celebration of Demera, marking the finding of the True Cross upon which Jesus was crucified, was held across Ethiopia decorated with Orthodox religious and cultural festivities.
Predominantly, the event was colorfully marked at Mekel Square at the heart of the capital on Wednesday evening with huge gathering of followers of the church, Sunday school students, and members of the clergy dressed in robes and traditional clothes and several tourists.
The ceremony has attracted tens of thousands, including tourists from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Some of the foreign tourists from different countries have told ENA that they were impressed by the open-air festival and its authentic religious and cultural dimensions.
They called other foreign tourists, including from African countries and other in different continents to experience Ethiopia's magnificent tourist attractions such as this Meskel ceremony.
Accordingly, Kinja Mulegwa from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said visiting Ethiopia’s authentic Meskel celebration is important for Africans to find indigenous spirituality because colonialism has affected religion and culture in Africa.
In DRC, for instance, colonialism has affected traditional religion and culture, she pointed out.
“We are still fighting to find our spirituality. And for us it is important to come and see this celebration of today.”
Congolese culture and religion is influenced by outsiders essentially beginning from the era of colonization, she indicated.
Similarly, American Reverend Grant Bushee, from New San Francisco, stated that he came to Ethiopia for the first time to learn about the Ethiopian religion and its similarity and difference to his own Anglican.
“The way you celebrate your faith is very impressive. This is a unique experience for me that I think very few of my country’s citizens ever get the chance to see. So I feel very blessed to be here today,” he said.
Prior to the Demera celebration, Bushee was fascinated by the traditions and unique customs of various tribes in northern Ethiopia and he will visit the northern part of the country.
Noting that he has visited many African countries, Bushee said: “Everything is totally different...much different from other countries. I have been to Africa. This is a very rich experience for me. I wish more Americans could come here and see this."
He further added: “This country is so ancient and there is so much to learn about your culture and history. Even the early humans were here.”
England-born Lauriel Reid, who is an English Language Teacher living in Ethiopia, said many tourists are not experiencing such an amazing ceremony in Ethiopia urging others to visit the country.
“This is an experience of a lifetime, this is one of these experiences that you should have in your calendar at least once in your life…You have to experience it for yourself to know how you feel about it. That is my message. Experience Ethiopia for yourself.”
Chinese Liu Qin who attended the Demera celebration for her first time in Ethiopia was particularly astounded by the huge gathering, traditional attires, and songs.
Noting that the organized ceremony is successful and very amazing, she regretted for not wearing the Ethiopian traditional attires.
"It is very nice and this is my first time to come here and celebrate the biggest church and religion ceremony in Ethiopia. This is very successful and very amazing and a lot of people wore traditional cloth and I liked the Ethiopian culture." She called more Chinese tourists to visit Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is number one in Africa with its UNESCO World Heritage preserving treasures reflecting its rich history, inspiring generations.