Ethiopian Christians have begun celebrating the two-day Meskel festival with public bonfires and religious processions across the country.

Meskel, which falls on Sept. 26-27 this year, is an annual festival celebrated by Ethiopian Orthodox Church adherents at the end of September.

Orthodox Christians, who make up about 44 percent of Ethiopia’s population of some 100 million, believe Meskel is an affirmation of hope coming soon after the Ethiopian New Year, which falls on Sept. 11.

The largest religious procession and public bonfires was made in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, with the attendance of Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, religious leaders and tens of thousands of locals and tourists.

Deacon Tewodros Tekletsion from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church told Xinhua this year’s Meskel celebrations are special as it has earned international recognition as intangible cultural heritage.

“As you can see this year’s Meskel festival has a big gathering of religious leaders and the faithful and comes shortly after Meskel was inscribed as intangible world heritage by UNESCO,” he said.
With Meskel celebrations coinciding with World Tourism Day celebrations on Sept. 27, the Ethiopian government is running this year a week-long program to promote the country’s cultural heritages.

The Ethiopian Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to generate 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from 1.2 million tourists who are expected to visit Ethiopia during the current 2017-18 Ethiopia Fiscal Year, which started on July 9. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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