"TIMKET" is the most important celebration of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and takes place every year on January 18th. Timket means Epiphany - a holy day associated by the Western Church with the manifestation of Christ to Magi. Epiphany has however an entirely different significance among Ethiopians - for whom it commemorates the Baptist of Jesus Christ. The use of sacred objects such as "Tabot" makes it unique here. The "Tabot" symbolizes the Ark of the Covenant - the casket in which the Bible says the Moses placed the two tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments had been inscribed. Wrapped in rich brocades, the "Tabot" of the Church is carried on the head priest. The Ceremonial umbrellas provide shade from the sunlight and symbolize the celestial spheres. Priests perform an elaborate dance using "Kebero" and "Sistrum" before the "Tabot".
DAY 1: ADDIS ABABA / GONDAR
You will Initially Take the morning FLIGHT to GONDAR from Addis Ababa. Check in your HOTEL. Then we will consequently TOUR the famous castles of Gondar and the Debre Berhan Selassie church.
After having LUNCH , we will head to Medhane Alem Church. There we will attend the procession of people taking the replica of the Ark of the Covenant to Fasilides Bath. The Arks, localy "Tabots", make their way from all the local Ethiopian Orthodox churches to Fasilides Bath.
DAY 2: GONDAR (TIMKET HOLIDAY)
Since today is the official holiday of Timket, We will rise very early and move towards Fasilides Bath.
The ceremony will be a mix of priests blessings, prayers and a ritual reenactment of Christs baptism in the River Jordan.
Around midday, the ceremony will conclude at Fasilides Bath and almost all the Arks (St Michaels will remain behind) will be brought back, in a ceremonial procession, to their respective churches.
DAY 3: GONDAR (ST. MICHAEL'S DAY) / ADDIS ABABA
In the morning we will attend the spiritual ceremonial of St. Michael's Day and later having breakfast, we will return to hotel for checking out.
Late in the afternoon, fly back to Addis Ababa.
Commences in:Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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