26 September 2017

Ethiopia: Demera - an Enticing Tradition for Tourists' Influx

Demera, the eve of Mesekel celebration, ceremony is prepared individually and communally outside homes. Specially, the holiday in Addis Ababa is prepared at Meskel Square on the 26th of September, at the eve of Meskel, Tall Demera made of tree branches is erected decorating with flowers at the Meskel Square and while singing spiritual songs Sunday School Students and the clergy accompanied by huge crowds of worshipers wearing cultural clothing, march to Meskel Square to carryout Demera festivity ceremony.

As Meskel is a unique ceremony to Ethiopia, Many tourists also influx to Ethiopia to see and follow the Demera ceremonial process. Of course, Meskel has been inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity three years ago. Yes, apart from its spiritual importance, it has been one of nation's tourist attractions and an engine for the nation's economic development.

Fortunately, Meskel and World Tourism Day is commemorated on the same day September 27. In connection with the day, recently Culture and Tourism State Minister for Tourism Sector Development, Meaza Gebre-Medhin said as one of the members of United Nations World Tourism Organization, the country has been celebrating the day for many years. " We celebrate this year's tourism day under theme : 'Tourism for Sustainable Development'."

Through creating integrated tourism development approaches, the country need to expand its local tourism and use the sector's resources to bring all rounded economic development to the citizens. As the sector has sustainable job creation potentials , it will be a key instrument in realizing the country's economic transformation, she added.

Considering World Tourism Day, she said it would help develop citizens' tourism culture through expanding local tourism.

Apart from promoting the country's tourist attraction sites, the day will enable citizens to have well established awareness about their natural, cultural and traditional heritages.

So, encouraging local tourism will have a significant role to acquaint the divers culture of the nations and nationalities of the country. Besides, it also plays significant role in knowledge transfer as well, she said.

Many international media and out lets have been covering this colorful religious event. Among them Readthespirit. com, once said that on the Sunset , September 26: Bonfires ignite an ancient story as darkness spreads across the Ethiopian landscape tonight: Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate Demera, the eve of the grand holiday of Meskel. Recalling the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Helena in the fourth century, the bonfires of Meskel eve recreate the colossal bonfire that St. Helena experienced in a dream. Ethiopians remember a traditional Christian story that says St. Helena instructed the people of Jerusalem to bring wood for a bonfire; after adding incense, the bonfire's smoke rose high into the sky and, returning to the ground, touched the precise spot where the true cross was located. It's believed that a part of the true cross was brought to Ethiopia, where it lies at the mountain of Amba Geshen, it added.

According to various sources, UNESCO has inscribed Meskel commemoration feast of the finding of the True Holy Cross of Christ on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It selected the Meskel festival from among the 31 heritages presented to during its 8th Conference of intangible cultural heritages.

Coming back to its religious background, The Bool of the Saints of The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Translation of Sir E. A. Wallis Budge said on Meskerem 16 took place the consecration of the Church, and the Sanctuary, and the grave of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise, in the holy city of Jerusalem and of all the holy places which 'Eleni (Helena), the empress, laid bare. And this took place in the twentieth year of the reign of her son Constantine, after he had gathered together the Council of Three Hundred and Eighteen Saints in the city of Nicea.

Meskerem 17 is celebrated the festival of the Honorable Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to Whom be praise, for this is the day on which the holy woman, the Empress Helena, beloved of God, mother of the righteous Emperor Constantine, revealed the Cross, for having cleared away the hill of Golgotha she found the Honorable Cross.

The Honorable Cross appeared into them on the tenth day of Megabit, but as they were unable to celebrate a festival in its honor during a fast, they celebrated its festival on the day of the consecration of the church, which was the seventeenth day of Meskerem, the day of its appearance in the holy tomb, according to chronicles.


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