Friday, January 19, 2007

Tonight they're gonna Timkat like it's 1999.

We have been officially waiting for referral (to be matched with our child) for 4 weeks. Are we 1/5 of the way there? It has been a fast four weeks but I have still been pretty easily distracted by anything baby-related that crosses my path or jumps into my mind. And it's not because I'm not busy!

Today was the final day of the Timkat celebration in Ethiopia. Timkat is a bigger celebration there than Christmas. It is what we'd call Epiphany, though in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition it has a strong emphasis on the Ark of the Covenant, which is said to be preserved in Ethiopia, and on Jesus's baptism. Priests dressed in rich robes carrying fantastic umbrellas process with replicas of fragments of the Law called Tabots from churches to a pool or other body of water. The Tabots are blessed and the crowds are sprinkled with water or sometimes dive into the pool as they renew their religious commitments.

You can read about Ethiopian festivals including Timket here:

View some beautiful pictures here--you have to see the umbrellas, I tell you!
(also interesting descriptions here)

By the way, if you're wondering how the Twelfth Day of Christmas can be on January 19 (and not a partridge in sight), remember that Ethiopia uses a different calendar than the Western world. The Orthodox Christmas was January 7. They have 13 months--a tourism slogan is "13 Months of Sunshine"--and the year 1999 started on our September 11, 2006. That's right, you can still celebrate Timkat like it's 1999!

1 comment:

Amy said...

Next year we plan to begin celebrating annually the Orthodox New Year for Russia, Jan. 14th. That's when Father Frost brings presents (because of communism & banning Christmas, it became a "new year" thing). The best of both worlds, and I firmly believe January's a better time to throw a party anyway!