Addis Ababa (ENA) January 18/2023 Tourists from USA and the UK which have been attending the Ketera festival, eve of the Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket) in Addis Ababa today, said that they are impressed by the uniqueness of the celebration.
Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany) is one of the most significant religious and social events for followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and the eve Ketera is celebrated across the country with various assortments.
Among the tourist who have been attending Ketera at Jan Meda, Arty Hyseni told ENA that he came from the UK to experience the Ethiopian Epiphany for the first time.
“I see true Ethiopia and gatherings of Ethiopians; and this is the beauty in it that I find. For me, it is a special experience. I love Ethiopia and this is the Ethiopia I want to see. It is unique, because it is only celebrated in Ethiopia and registered by UNSECO and brings people together in peace. It is a happy day, you see only happy people around,” he said.
According to Hyseni, the event showcases true Ethiopia and this is what the world has to see. Ethiopians from different nationality come together to celebrate the festival, and it is also internationally very well recognized.
“This event has to get international exposure by marketing and advertising in different media channels of the world. We ourselves are international community, of course; and we talk about it. But our voice is limited.”
The tourist stressed that the global community has to see things like this. It means everybody has to come to Lalibela and Axum in Ethiopia.
“I see bright future for Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the epicenter of Africa. Ethiopia’s economy will improve because the peace agreement is great. Now Ethiopia should be at the forefront of Africa and also be at the world stage. This is time for Ethiopia.”
The other tourist, Ahmed Waheed, also from the UK said, “I never saw this kind of celebration. I don’t even know that this kind of celebration existed. So, it is exposure for me.”
The female American tourist, Kelly Ford said on her part that “it is amazing and wonderful to watch. I heard about Timket from other friends who traveled to Ethiopia. We made special arrangement to stay and tour the beautiful country and decided to stay for the next three days to see this.”
She added, “We are proud to see the historical sites in Bahirdar, Gondar and Lalibela.
A fellow American, Mirin Wu said this is a lifetime experience.
“It is really impressive. I like to see all these people together. It is very religious to me. I am impressed with your country and there is no country doing this cultural event. I have traveled to so many countries. This is very special. And everybody seems to be getting alone very well.”
On Ketera, the eve of Epiphany, people escort their parish church tabot (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) to the Timkete-Bahir (a pool, river or artificial reservoir), transported by a priest of the parish and accompanied by a great ceremony.