ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
INTRODUCTION: In Ethiopia, thousands of members of the Ethiopian Orthodox church gathered throughout the country on Saturday (26 September) to celebrate the eve of a major religious festival, the Maskal.
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
1. GV Procession with cross 0.08
2. GV PAN Religious crowd, in open field, people in fancy dress (2 shots) 0.24
3. SV Patriarch speaking to congregation PAN ALONG village dignitaries 0.42
4. CU PULL OUT TO GV Priestly band (2 shots) 1.01
5. GV Patriarch blessing demera (bonfire) with big cross 1.04
6. SV & GV Demera being set on fire PULL OUT showing congregation all round 1.17
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Background: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
INTRODUCTION: In Ethiopia, thousands of members of the Ethiopian Orthodox church gathered throughout the country on Saturday (26 September) to celebrate the eve of a major religious festival, the Maskal. The festival recalls the fourth pilgrimage of Helena, mother of the Emperor, Constantine the First. Legend has it that smoke from her torches drifted downwards to touch the spot where the true cross of Jesus Christ is buried.
SYNOPSIS: Central to the occasion is the carrying of crosses through the street. This is the main celebration in the capital, Addis Ababa, attended by the Patriarch of the church, Abune Tekle Haimanot and other leading dignitaries. It's a time for the priests and the people to mingle and everyone wears their most lavish costumes and robes.
Before the main part of the ceremony, the Patriarch addressed the crowed reminding them of the true meaning of the festival. They included the mayor of Addis Ababa and high church officials as well as representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The ancient spiritual music associates the religious festival with an even older celebration of the coming of Spring and the renewal of fertility to the land. Ethiopia has been a Christian country since the fourth century although there's a large Moslem population.
Before lighting the climatic bonfire, the Patriarch blesses the crowd and the bonfire and then lights a torch which he hands to the mayor of the capital. He lights the fire which heralds in the festival itself.
Source: REUTERS - T. JARRA