THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND THE REASON FOR THE CELEBRATION OF
THE FINDING OF TRUE CROSS
After jesus crist died and rose from death in the 3rd day,the sick used to be healed from their illness by thouching the cross. Because of these miracles many became Christians.
However the jews having seen many became Christians threw the cross into a garbage pit . And because the villagers throw garbage into that garbage pit daily it became a hill and kept the cross buried.
but, eventhough the cristians could not dig and bring the cross out they still knew the place where it is buried. Later during the titus invasion Christians left Jerusalem completely and the look of the city was completely changed when they return home therefore were unable to find the place where the cross Is buried.
But even though they could not dig it out, the Christians knew it. Later, when the Christians left Jerusalem during the invasion of Titus, the city was completely transformed, and the location of the cross remains unknown.
As a result, it has been buried in the ground for more than 300 years.
Later in the 4th century Queen Eleni, the mother of Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem. And orderd every hill and mound in the city to be dug and also asked every villager if they knew where it is buried but she was unable to find the cross.
However at last because the finding of the cross was the will of god, an old man named kyriakos seeing that queen Eleni was troubled told her the following
” place a lot of incense and burn it then when the smoke from it starts to form and go up and return down see the directon and dig in that place you’ll find the place where the cross is buried by the direction of the smoke’ he said and she did everything he told her to. and found the cross.
When is meskel(finding of true cross) ceremony celebrated ethiopia?
In Ethiopia Meskel celebration takes place September 17 every year.
How is it celebrated?
On September 16, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo followers and other Ethiopian peoples of different faiths and languages from every corner of the country gather at Meskel Square in each city, after the religious rites and teachings were given, the priests pray in front of the Demera and circle the Demera, saying,“መስቀል አብርሃ በከዋክብት አሰርገወ ሰማየ እምኩሉሰ ጸሃየ አርአየ”
finally, the large bonfire will be lit.
After the pile(demera) finished burning, followers of the faith touch the remaining charcoal with their fingers and mark their foreheads with the shape of a cross .
The community after celebrating the common holiday with many people at Meskel Square; returns to their home to light the bonafire at home.
the youngsters say
እያሉ ሆያ ሆዬ ይላሉ።
Its impossible not to mention gurage and wolayita when speaking about meskel ceremony.
in wolayita meskel ceremony is known as Gifata.
In Ethiopia, the finding of true cross is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony in Gurage and Wolayita zones.
Kitfo(minced meat combined with spicy ingredients and a lot of flavored butter)
In these areas, during the finding of true cross holiday kitfo is usually eaten. And it is served in a hollow plate made from clay or on a piece of leaf
and eaten with a spoon made from horn or a flat bread known as kocho.
Served On the side, there will be cottage cheese mixed with spicy ingredients and butter and also a roasted green cabbage mixed with flavored butter.
In the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, finding of the true cross is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony at Meskel Square. many local and foreign tourists from different parts of the world come to the capital to take part in this magnificent festivity.
the finding of true cross ceremony(meskel ceremony) is registered as UNESCO intangible world heritage.
WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY MESKEL HOLIDAY.
እንኳን ለብርሃነ መሰቀሉ በሰላምና በጤና አደረሰህ/ሽ/ዎ/አችሁ። በአሉ የፍቅር፣የጤና፣ የሰላም፣የአንድነት፣የመተባበር፣የመተሳሰብ ይሁንልን።
ሞቅ ያለ ምርጥ በአል እመኝላችኋለው። መልካም የመስቀል በአል ይሁንላችሁ።
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