The holy Tabot, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, is taken from each church to a central area accompanied by priests bearing prayer sticks followed by keen believers ringing bells, blowing trumpets and carrying incense burners
Epiphany – Timket
Timiket is the greatest festival of the year, falling on 29 January, just two weeks after the Ethiopian Christmas .it is actually a three –day affair beginning on the eve of Timiket with dramatic and colorful processions. The following morning, the great day itself, Christ baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist is commemorated. The third day is devoted to the feast of St.Michael the archangel, one of Ethiopia’s most popular saints. Since October and the end of the rains, the country dries up steadily. The sun blazes down from a clear blue sky and festival of Timiket always take s place in glorious weather.
Enormous effort is put into the occasion. Tej and Tella (Ethiopian meat and beer) are brewed, special bread and the fat –tailed African sheep are fattened for slaughter. Gift are prepared for the children and new clothes purchased or old clothes mended and laundered. Everyone –men, women and children –appears resplendent for the three day celebration. Dressed in dazzling whit traditional dress, the locals e provide a dramatic contrast to the jewel colors of the ceremonial velvets and stains of the priest robe and sequined velvet umbrellas .on the eve of the 18 January , the priest remove the Tabots from each church and bless the water of the pool or river where the next day’s celebration will take place . It is the Tabot (symbolizing the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments) rather than the church building which is consecrated, and it is accorded extreme reverence.