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6

Not all baptisms are alike

Each year, on 19 January, the

Festival of Timkat

takes place in Ethiopia. Timkat is

the most important holiday of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and commemorates the

baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. This is celebrated with exu-

berance. Not to miss anything, we set ourselves down at the Janmeda square, which

will be the epicentre of the festivities, nice and early. Believers start to pour in from all

directions, decked out in the colours of their church community. They are praying and

singing, and soon the excitement starts to become palpable. The priests stride through

the crowd in beautiful velvet robes and in multicoloured, gold-plated parasols. They are

wearing large golden crosses around their necks, which are glistening in the sunlight.

t r a v e l i n g