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Epiphany blessing for Nihaba and his family

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A Timket Epiphany ceremony is held by Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. It occurs on the 19th of January (or the 20th in a leap year), which is the Ge’ez calendar’s 11th day of Terr.

Timkat commemorates Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River. The highlight of this festival is a reenactment of baptismal ceremonies (similar to such reenactments performed by numerous Christian the Holy Land when they visit the Jordan).

The Tabot, an Ethiopian altar stone that depicts the Ark of the Covenant (similar to the Western altar stone) is wrapped in expensive cloth and carried in procession on the priest’s head during the Timkat rites. The Tabot depicts Jesus’ baptism as the Messiah at the Jordan, which is rarely seen by the general public. Early in the morning, the Divine Liturgy is held alongside a stream or pool (around 2 a.m.). The participants are blessed and sprayed with water from a nearby body of water as dawn approaches, with some of them entering the water and immersing themselves, symbolically confirming their baptismal vows.

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