Addis Ababa : The eve of the finding of the True Cross, Demera, is being celebrated colorfully across the nation today.
The finding of the True Cross (Meskel) on which Jesus Christ was crucified is celebrated among followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church every year to commemorate the discovery of the cross by Empress Helena of Rome in the fourth century.
The faithful claim that the Empress instructed the people of Jerusalem to bring wood for a bonfire, add incense and burn it to know the place where the True Cross was buried.
The bonfire’s smoke rose high into the sky and returned to the ground, showing the exact spot where the True Cross was located.
Followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians thus mark the finding of the cross for two days, starting from the eve.
The eve of Meskel, known as Demera, is celebrated by burning a huge bonfire, following Empress Helena’s examples.
It’s believed that part of the True Cross was brought to Ethiopia and kept at the Amba Geshen, a mountain in the northern part of Ethiopia and home to four monasteries.
The grand outdoor religious festival that had been celebrated by huge gatherings is this time being celebrated with limited number of followers due to COVD-19 pandemic.
Meskel Festival was inscribed by UNESCO in 2013.
Source: Ethiopia News agency