Timkat, (Epiphany)

Timkat, (Epiphany) One of the country’s most celebrated festivals is Timkat, the epiphany which falls on January 19th and is the easiest for visitors to witness and enjoy. The holy Tabot, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant is removed from each church around the country on the eve of Epiphany and taken to a central area where the ceremony will take place. During the night the priest and the faithful participate in a kind of vigil around the Tabots. The following morning the crowds gather around the water, which is blessed, then splashed into them, commemorating the Baptism of Jesus Christ and a renewal of religious vows. The Tabot is then paraded back to the church accompanied by much singing and dancing. Gondar, Addis Ababa and Lalibela are considered to be good places to attend Timkat.