The Timkat Festival: Ethiopian Festival of Epiphany

21 Jan

The Timkat Festival: Ethiopian Festival of Epiphany

African Heritage

Timkat1_G Priests walking with the Tabot, the Ark of the Covenant, in a procession through Gondar (Carl Court, Getty Images/ The Guardian)

Today we celebrate the Timkat Festival, the Ethiopian celebration of Epiphany.  This year, it takes place on 19 January, while on leap years it is on 20 January (which is the 10th day of the TerrEthiopian calendar).  It is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–23).  For the celebrations, pilgrims come from around the country to enact the baptism, celebrating the Epiphany, which lasts 3 days.

Timkat3_G Pilgrims at Fasilides’ Castle in Gondar (Carl Court / Getty Images/ The Guardia)

The best place for the celebration is in Gondar at the Fasilides Castle: a Pure Gem of Ethiopia’s Rich History. During the ceremonies of Timkat, a procession…

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