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Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia celebrate baptism of Jesus

Faithful of Ethiopian Christians celebrate 'Ketera', the eve of Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024   -  
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Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia celebrated Timket - a festival that marks the baptism of Jesus - on Saturday in the capital Addis Ababa.

The UNESCO-inscribed festival of the Epiphany began on Friday with the ritual of each church carrying a Tabot - a sacred replica of the Ark of the Covenant.

In the ritual, the Tabot is covered with cloth and carried by priests to a nearby water source. Hundreds of thousands of people in white robes gather to sing spiritual songs and chant.

Early Saturday pre-sunrise rituals began in Jan Meda, where thousands gathered for prayers and liturgical services.

Priests sprinkled holy water on the assembled congregation commemorating Christ’s baptism.

Ethiopia's Feast of the Epiphany is one of the highest and holiest holidays in the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian calendar and is celebrated on Jan. 19 every year.

Timket used to be very famous in Gondar, a city in the northern Amhara region. However, due to ongoing conflict between government forces and rebels in the area, many people now prefer to celebrate in Addis Ababa.

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