Thousands of members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church joined in celebrations to mark the Feast of Epiphany in Addis Ababa on Monday (19 January).
SV PAN Clergy and worshippers arriving for mass
CU Religious banner ZOOM OUT TO SV Worshippers gathered for mass
SV Patriarch giving prayer
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Cross TO Worshippers watching dancing (3 shots)
GV ZOOM IN TO SV Patriarch looks on as dancers perform (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Worshippers gathered with religious banners
Initials CL/1755 CL/1805
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Background: Thousands of members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church joined in celebrations to mark the Feast of Epiphany in Addis Ababa on Monday (19 January).
The Feast commemorates the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist and lasts for three days.
It begins with Ketera, the Eve of Timiket (Epiphany) celebration when the Tabots (arks) of the various churches and monasteries are transported to the nearest river in a colourful procession.
Overnight services depicting Christ's baptism in the River Jordan are carried out.
In Addis, His Holiness Abuna Tewoflos .. Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church .. supervised the religious services.
The festivities are held annually and climax with a dance of the priests.
SYNOPSIS: Celebrations marking the Feast of Epiphany started in Addis Ababa on Monday. Thousands of worshippers gathered at the religious grounds of Jan Meda in the northern section of the city. The celebrations started with Ketera, the Eve of Timiket (Epiphany) when the Tabots (arks) of the various churches and monasteries are taken to the nearest river for the re-enactment of Christ's baptism in the River Jordan.
His Holiness Abuna Tewoflos .. the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church conducted the service at Jan Meda. More than a third of Ethiopia's 25 million people are members of the Orthodox church. The Patriarch delivered a sermon to the crowds and sprinkled holy water on the faithful who fathered around him. The climax of the celebrations is a mass dance in which clergy and worshippers both take part.
The celebrations last three days and take place each year. After the religious services are over, feasting takes place as the worshippers celebrate their "spiritual birthdays".
Epiphany is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church's greatest religious festival.