Meskel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 2007

Meskel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 2007

Meskel (transliterations may vary, as Fidel does not map directly to Roman script) is one of the most important Ehtiopian religious holidays, as it celebrates the finding of the true cross, an even which involved placing a fire on the spot it was found (look this up–I have limited and expensive bandwidth). The finding of the cross is commemorated by religious show culminating in the lighting of a huge bonfire out of traditional Meskel flowers, which are also strewn on floors for the day.

These two young priests in front of the fire, with traditional processional cross (actually, a bit more modern than most of the processional crosses in attendance that day) and in church holiday vestments, represent this well. Despite being a ‘Respected Guest’, I had trouble getting past the National Police to the actual fire, as it was across the street from the viewing section. (In the process, I had my pocket cut and phone removed–I am not sure if it was recovered.) This young man was the only one with a traditional cross left at the fire, but luckily he was eager to pose, and this is my favorite shot of the bunch.

I will add their names, should that interest anyone, as soon as I email them the images–I left their email addresses at my hotel.

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