Addis Ababa Ethiopians should push for preserving the originality of Meskel festival in a bid to maximize tourists flow from aboard, foreign visitors said.
Meskel fesitival has been celebrated over a millennium across Ethiopia, especially in Meskel Square in the capital and public places where many Christians turned out in huge congregations to observe the burning of a large bonfire (Demera).
However, this year the celebration is unlike the preceding ones as the festival is shadowed by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, most Christians celebrated the day with families and feasts at their localities.
Not more than 5, 000 attendants and few foreign tourists graced their presence over this year festival which was held in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa.
European visitors who attended the Meskel Demera (procession) last night have expressed their joy on the unique Meskel festivities in the capital.
Diongsia Komioti, a Greece travel writer, told ENA that Meskel is becoming one of the greatest ritual holidays for many travelers due to its distinct feature of the celebration and the values of the diverse people of Ethiopia.
“I am very exhilarated to come here and see the unity, peace and love among Christians celebrating Meskel. I love all the plays of the clergies and the ceremony,” Komioti said.
Noting that Meskel ceremony is popular intangible heritages of Ethiopia that inscribed by UNESCO, strengthening preservation and use this celebration in the most original way would enable to attract tremendous visitors from across the globe, she indicated.
She also urged that “I advice Ethiopia and its people to continue in celebrating the Meskel festival in its most original way as it is a world cultural heritage and has become an event of mounting tourist attraction.”
Despite COVID-19 pandemic has decreased the number of foreign tourists and people who attend the Demera (procession) this year, Meskel will continue as destination of tourists after the pandemic halted.
As Meskel is one of the best tourist luring ritual events in the Ethiopia, the carnival is an occasion to generate foreign currency from thousands of tourists who come from Europe, USA and Asia as well also from many African countries.
Farid Khalaf another visitor said that this glorious and magnificent celebration has to be seen by the entire people specially, Christians who love such cultural and religious events. Meskel Festivity should be well preserved, he emphasized.
“The ceremony is here so beautiful. Because for every Christians in the world, the find of the cross is very important and knowing that Ethiopian Orthodox church is one of the original churches for Christianity and an exemplary for Meskel celebration should be preserved forever,” he pointed out.
Acknowledging that many people don’t realize the Meskel ceremony something like amazing to see the unity, peace and love among Christians, Khalaf urged that the Ethiopian Orthodox church needs promotion it aboard.
Milnaela Panagio Fopoaloa who also came from Greek praised the peaceful coexistence of Ethiopians Christians which the event symbolizes peace for not only followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but all Ethiopians and the rest of the world.
Fopoaloa, who is a 23 young girl, was embraced by this religious myth of the finding of the True Cross.
She noted that “I have never seen such colorful outdoor festivals like this Ethiopian finding of the True Cross ceremony.”
Meskel festival is known as Feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross in Ethiopian Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant churches.
Source: Ethiopia News agency