Wednesday, October 1, 2014


As mentioned in the above post, my good friend Tesfahun and I are working on a book project in the Wolaita zone and went there on the weekend to collect traditional stories from the Wolaita people. It just so happened that we were in the area during the Meskel celebration. We decided to head down to Arba Minch, where Tesfahun's sister (Tarik), brother-in-law (Alem) and their son (Dougie) live, for a visit and to take part in the festivities. It did not disappoint. There is a short video clip of the Meskel celebration below this blog post.

The Meskel celebration marks the  finding of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The cross was found by Queen Helena in the fourth century. She had a revelation in a dream that told her to make a large bonfire and cover it in frankincense and the smoke from the fire would lead her to where the cross was buried. As the fire was lit, the smoke from the fire rose high into the air and then returned to the ground indicating where the cross could be located.

Photo: Tarifa, Dougie, Alem, and Tesfahun.

Photo: Meskel prayers

Photo: The lighting of the bonfire.

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