Dec 052013
Crowds gather at the Fasiladas' bath in Gondar, Ethiopia, to celebrate Timket.

Crowds gather at the Fasiladas’ bath in Gondar, Ethiopia, to celebrate Timket.

Ethiopia follows the Ethiopian calendar, consequently Christmas falls on January 7th and Epiphany on January 19th.

Christmas is called Ganna in Ethiopia. People dress in white and attend church (some attend ancient churches carved out of rock). Everyone receives a candle as they enter the church. The candles are lit, and everyone walks around the church three times. People stand during mass. Males and females are separated. After mass, boys play a game, which is also called ganna, that is similar to hockey. Food usually includes wat, a spicy stew, and injera, a spongy flatbread. Presents are not a part of the celebration though children may received a modest gift.

Twelve days later Timkat, Ethiopia’s Epiphany celebration, begins. It is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. As part of the celebration, a ritual baptism is done. A stream or pool is blessed before dawn. The water is sprinkled on some participants, while other immerse themselves in the water to symbolically renew their baptismal vows.

photo courtesy of Jialiang Gao, wikipedia

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 December 5, 2013  Posted by at 12:00 am The Many Days of Christmas