All about the Timkat Festival in Africa

Timkat also known as Timgat means baptism. This is the way Ethiopia celebrates Epiphany. Usually celebrated on January 19 or 20 on a leap year this is revered as the 10th day of Terr. Timket is in celebration of baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. The festival is very well known for the reenacting of baptism in a ritualistic manner. This is very similar to all the reenactments that are shown by the Christian pilgrims.

A model of the ark of the Convent is wrapped and taken out in procession on the head of the priest. This Ark of the Covenant is there on every altar in Ethiopia. The Tabot represents the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah when he came to this city of Jordan for baptism. You have the Divine Liturgy, which is celebrated near a pool or a stream very early in the morning. This happens at around 2 a.m. You also have the nearby body of water, which is blessed towards the time the sun rises, and it is usually sprinkled on the participants. Some of the participants enter the water and then immerse themselves thus bringing back all the baptismal vows. The uncategorized festival does not end here. It continues with many other kinds of celebrations.

On Timkat Day, a large crowd assembles at the site of the rituals and the Holy Ark is then escorted back to the church in a colorful procession. The clergy are seen wearing robes and have umbrellas of many colors. They perform songs and dances and the elders march with great seriousness with the weapons. This is attended by middle aged people who sing a long drawn and a very low pitched tune. All this indeed provides a great feeling.

Timkat is a festival of Eastern Africa, which fills your travel luxuries with memorable moments.

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Written by Mike Bisho

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