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Ethiopia The Festival Capital Of The World

February 4, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

We have been blessed – along with more than a million Ethiopians during the two day Epiphany Celebrations in Addis Ababa with many more taking part in the celebrations around the country.

Tradition cotton handmade white clothing is the order of the day as the massive crowds celebrate the baptism of Jesus with a re – enactment of the Epiphany locally called, the Timkat Festival.

Multitudes from all orthodox religions, but mainly Coptic Christians gather in a 20 acre area close to the Addis CBD for an official baptism ceremony presided over by the High Priest and other high ranking member of the church sporting replicas of the Ark of the Covenant over their heads.

John_with_TV_interviewer

The holy water from a symbolic River Jordan is mixed with local water and distributed by hoses and water bottles from the re-enactment site (a smallish swimming pool) as the crowds are close to a collective trance, chanting the Elilta and clapping loudly to the strains of the Harp, Kirar and Masiko.

With a population of 4.5 million Addis has 140 churches and the followers of all the religions join together in harmony to celebrate one of the world’s most significant milestones.

waiting for the ceremony to start

A group of Australian Journalists and Tourism Wholesalers are in Ethiopia as guests of the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO) and have been invited to visit this historic country to lift the veil of mystique surrounding tourism in the destination.

It is estimated that more than 50 thousand tourists from around the world are attracted to the country during the Epiphany, some to reaffirm their beliefs and others to take in the pomp and ceremony of the January 18-20 celebrations.

Heads of churches sporting their covenants

Ethiopia is a sovereign state known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia located in the Horn of Africa sharing borders with Eritrea in the north, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and Uganda and Sudan to the west.  The most populated landlocked country in the world; it boasts nearly 100 million people occupying 1, 100,000 square kilometres

“We are in the process of introducing a global marketing push on behalf of ETO and inviting media and travel agents to come and experience the country for themselves.” Said Weldegebrial Berhe,Tourism MarketingTeam  Leader for the ETO. We have invited representatives from Japan, China, Korea, Egypt, Armenia already and have plans to invite others in the future. We are confident their experiences and exposure to our history and culture will help promote our destination in a positive way.” he said.

Heads of churches sporting their covenants

For further information on touring Ethiopia

African Wildlife Safaris – contact Kate Witton – Kate.W@awsnfs.com

Swagman Africa – contact Wayne Hamilton – wayne@swagmantours.com.au

Africa Ubuntu Safaris – contact Cuan McLaren – cuan@africanubuntu.com.au

Peregrine / Intrepid Travel – Rowan Waters – rowan.waters@intrepidtravel.com

For general enquiries and information – Africareps – herbie@africareps.com

Written by John Savage on assignment in Ethiopia

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