Tuesday, 27 September 2022

መስቀል (10. 172)

Transliterated into Latin script as Ge’ez or Cross, Ethiopian and Eritrean orthodox Tewahedo communities celebrate the fourth century discovery of the True Cross by Helen (previously) on this day, the seventeenth of Meskerem (መስከረም), by which the holiday Meskel is known. Festivities includes the burning of a Demera—that is, a large bonfire—after the tradition that Queen Eleni, as she is called locally, was instructed in a dream that the rising smoke would guide her to spot where the relic was buried. Adherents believe that the burning symbolizes the cancellation of sins and the ultimate collapse of the wood pile has prognosticatory value to glean for the near future and like on Ash Wednesday, anoint themselves. Since 2013, Meskel has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.