News from our Ethiopian Supplier

According to the Ethiopian Orthodox calendar,  the birth of Jesus is celebrated on January 6. This is an important religious event when believers go to church and have feasts at home with family and friends. 
Timket (celebrating both the Epiphany when the Wise Men visited baby Jesus and the baptism of Jesus), is a much more public, festive Ethiopian holiday. It is celebrated on the eve of the 18th of January and continues on the 19th of January. Some Churches also celebrate on the 20th
Around areas with Orthodox churches, streets are bedazzled with green, yellow and red streamers, lights and flags. On the afternoon of the 18th, priests ceremoniously walk the Tabots from their church to a common area which has water. They are preceded and followed by thousands of worshippers who are all singing, clapping, and playing drums.
The Tabots are what sanctifies and consecrates a church building. They are a representation of the Ark of the Covenant and are normally kept in the most holy part of the church in which only clergy are allowed to enter. During Timket, the Tabots are beautifully covered in ornate cloth and carried by the priests as they slowly walk to the water source.
Once the Tabots are in the common area, the church community stays with them the entire night to commemorate the baptism of Christ. The following morning, the Tabots are returned to their respective churches, again accompanied by thousands of joyful people worshipping God through music and dance.