• Short Summary

    ETHIOPIA'S EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE PLAYED AN ACTIVE PART THIS YEAR IN HIS COUNTRY'S COLOURFUL MASKAL"FLOWER FESTIVAL," THE ANNUAL CEREMONY WHEN ETHIOPIANS CELEBRATE THE FINDING OF THE TRUE CROSS OF CHRIST.

  • Description

    ETHIOPIA'S EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE PLAYED AN ACTIVE PART THIS YEAR IN HIS COUNTRY'S COLOURFUL MASKAL"FLOWER FESTIVAL," THE ANNUAL CEREMONY WHEN ETHIOPIANS CELEBRATE THE FINDING OF THE TRUE CROSS OF CHRIST.

    EMPEROR SELASSIE IGNITED THE GIANT FESTIVAL PYRE, OR "DEMERA", IN THE MIDST OF MASKAL SQUARE, ADDIS ABABA, TO BRING THE FESTIVAL TO ITS EXCITING CLIMAX.

    EACH YEAR THE MASKAL FLOWER FESTIVAL IS WITNESSED BY THOUSANDS OF LOCAL ETHIOPIANS AND VISITORS FROM OVERSEAS. MASKAL COMMEMORATES THE SUCCESS OF QUEEN HELENE, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I, IN FINDING THE HOLY CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST DIED AT CALVARY.

    FOR CENTURIES AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH NOTHING WAS KNOWN OF THE WHERE-ABOUTS OF THE CROSS. IT IS SAID THAT QUEEN HELENE PRAYED SO THAT GOD COULD ENABLE HER TO FIND THE LOCATION; HER PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED AND SHE WAS LEAD TO THE BURIAL PLACE OF THE CROSS AT GOLGOTHA IN 326 A.D.

    SINCE THEN MASKAL WAS CELEBRATED IN ETHIOPIA AS A RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL. IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY A PORTION OF THE TRUE CROSS CAME TO ETHIOPIA, GIVING THE FESTIVAL EVEN GREATER SIGNIFICANCE.

    "TEKETSEL TSEGIE" IS THE NAME OF THE ANNUAL CEREMONY WHICH PRECEDES MASKAL, AND WHICH COMMEMORATES THE ARRIVAL OF THIS PORTION OF THE HOLY CROSS INTO THE COUNTRY.

    DURING MASKAL PRIESTS AND WATCHERS ASSEMBLE AROUND THE DEMERA IN MASKAL SQUARE. MASS IS CELEBRATED AND THEN THE PYRE IS IGNITED, AND THE FLOWERS ON THE FIRE BURN TO GIVE EXTRA COLOUR TO THE OCCASION.

    THE CEREMONY CONCLUDES WITH A SPECTACULAR PROCESSION OF THOUSANDS OF WARRIORS AND TOWNSPEOPLE DRESSED IN MULTICOLOURED ROBES, UNIFORMS AND NATIONAL COSTUMES, CARRYING TORCHES AND CHANTING:"IYOHA ABABAIE-MESKEREM TEBAIE" - WHICH MEANS "THE NEW YEAR HAS DAWNED."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7JU1Y4EJ49U1K9SEW6MU73Q0G
    Media URN:
    VLVA7JU1Y4EJ49U1K9SEW6MU73Q0G
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    29/09/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:00:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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