19th January - Timkat

Timkat in Ethiopia

Timkat festival celebrates the Ethiopian Epiphany, on 19 January (or 20 in a leap year).

During the three-day festival, the baptism is re-enacted. Thousands in white robes gather for processions, chanting, dancing and praying.

On the first day, models of the Ark of the Covenant (tabots) are carried to a body of water.

On the second morning, there are ceremonies and prayers with priests in colourful robes, umbrellas, red carpets, and lots of incense.

On the third day the leaders bless the water. It is then sprinkled on the attendants for their annual baptism.