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Meskel is one of the biggest religious festivals among Ethiopian Orthodox followers that commemorates a fourth century event where Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, discovered the True Cross on which Christ was crucified. This festival is also registered with UNESCO as an element of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The centrepiece of this unique festival is the lighting of a massive conical bonfire called a Damera and all the dancing and feasting surrounding it. The largest Meskel gathering takes place in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square, where hundreds of thousands of people, both locals and tourists, gather to watch the colourfully dressed priests chant, pray and dance.

There are also equally magnificent celebrations across the country, including in Axum and Gondar.

Attractions in Ethiopia

Nyangatom (Bumi) Tribe

Banna Tribe

Kara (Karo) Tribe

Dasenech Tribe

Hamer Tribe

Suri Tribe

Bodi Tribe

Mursi Tribe

Ashenda Festival

Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year)

Ethiopian Christmas (Genna)

Epiphany (Timket)

Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Nechisar National Park

Gambella National Park

Omo National Park

Mago National Park

Bale Mountains National Park

Simien Mountains National Park

Awash National Park

Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve

Rift Valley Lakes

Bahir Dar & Lake Tana

Danakil Depression




Meskel Square

Merkato Express

Medhanealem Cathedral

Red Terror Martyrs’ Memorial Museum

St. George

Ethnological Museum

Unity Park

Holy Trinity Cathedral

National Museum Of Ethiopia

Erta Ale Volcano