EBC English, Addis Ababa

Ambassadors and tourists who attended the Ethiopian Timket Festival, the commemoration of the baptism of Jesus at Jan Meda in Addis Ababa today said they were impressed by the rich, shining and spiritual gathering of the clergy and faithful of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in traditional attires.

Emphasizing the cultural value of Timket, the dignitaries and visitors said the festival they have experienced at Jan Meda was awesome.

Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Agostino Palese, associated the event with the historical and religious importance.

“It represents the history and tradition of Ethiopia. It is very important. People feel this kind of event is nice that they keep the tradition like it was wanted. So I am happy to see all these people here. God bless Ethiopia,” the ambassador stated.

“It is my second time, but you know, I respect Ethiopian culture. So I would like to be here to pay respect to the tradition and you know the history of Ethiopia,” the ambassador added.

Further highlighting the colorful celebration, Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia Alelign Admasu underscored the unique timing of Timket, coinciding with the harvest season, making it a particularly joyous occasion.

“In the villages everyone harvests its produce in this season, sells agricultural products, and buys new religious or cultural cloths to celebrate Timket. It is also a day that the urban residents also express their joy in this way. I believe this Epiphany is the biggest and exiting feast in Ethiopia,” Ambassador Alelign added.

The ambassador expressed his view as the Ethiopian Epiphany has been inscribed in UNESCO, it should also be celebrated beyond this country, worldwide.

People from different countries also go on a pilgrimage to Israel to celebrate Epiphany in Jordan River today, he pointed out.

The Ethiopian Timket, is instinct as people start the joy from the Ketera yesterday and the program will continue until this evening, he added.

Benjamin Kalkum, who is a board member of a German Church said he was struck by the profound spiritual essence of the ceremony.

“It’s a very impressive celebration, very beautiful, very colorful. It is also very deep. There’s a very deep meaning behind this ceremony which honors the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s just beautiful and also I get to see the happiness and the joy of the people who are now all got blessed in the water, it is very touching to see, it’s very touching because it’s spiritual.”

He believes that spiritual people should not always be silent or sad, but spirituality and receiving the grace of God can also be something very joyful, very beautiful and colorful like this ceremony.

Kalkum was also impressed by the diversity and inclusivity of the celebration.

“The diversity is impressive. The diversity among the clergy, the diversity among the parishes, among the people, so, everyone has their role. Everyone is enjoying themselves. Everyone is contributing something to their overall celebration and that is a very beautiful thing. It’s not like only the patriarch is doing something. No, everyone’s doing something.”

For a first-time visitor, Mareike Gries, from Germany, the experience was nothing short of lovely and transformative.

“It is my first time to be here and it is my first time in general in Africa. I love the culture, people, the Epiphany ceremony, and even the Ethiopian traditional cuisines I love it (the Epiphany). I love the culture. The people—they are so nice to me. I love the food. It is so good—Enjera—I love it like with Selsi and Shiro.”

Feeling deep connection to the culture, Gries adorned with Ethiopian traditional white attire, expressed, “It is so comfortable. I feel so pretty in it and I love to wear it and be part of your culture.”

Encouraging others to embark on a similar journey to Ethiopia, Gries said, “If they miss the chance to come to Ethiopia, they will miss a very big chance like it is such an experience to be here—unforgettable!”

The colorful Timket celebration, as witnessed by ambassadors and tourists, is true expression of Ethiopia as a beacon of its spiritual depth, rich and diverse cultural heritages. Their personal accounts not only require us to preserve this invaluable and grandeur heritage but also extend a warm invitation to the world to come and experience this unique and unforgettable celebration.

Source: ENA

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