The Ethiopian Orthodox faithful celebrate Timket — or Epiphany, representing Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River — all across Ethiopia each January. But for the grandest experience of all, many travel to Gondar, a castle-filled city that surrounds the festivities with just the right amount of drama.
On the eve of the holiday, the tabots (sacred replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) are wrapped in cloth and carried by priests to the Fasiladas’ Bath. There, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the wee hours of the morning, culminating in the moment when the tabots are immersed in the 17th-century pool. Many of the celebrants join in, submerging themselves as a symbolic renewal of their own baptisms, before singing, dancing and feasting begins.
Source: Selamta Magazine