Africa

In pictures: Ethiopians celebrate the festival of Timket

Women in religious clothes Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have been celebrating the festival of Timket, or Epiphany, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.

People celebrating Image copyright AFP
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In Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, thousands of worshippers marched through the streets on Friday, the eve of the festival, to the Jan Meda sports grounds.

Man with a drum Image copyright AFP

Each church took its tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant that according to tradition contains the 10 Commandments, on the procession.

Religious trumpeters Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Musicians playing traditional trumpets, or imbilta, led the way.

This symbolises the description in the Bible that trumpets were played when the Ark of the Covenant was being moved.

People in religious dress Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Priests Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Church leaders, dressed in their religious robes and carrying crucifixes and umbrellas, then followed.

Ethiopian priest Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Hands clapping Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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Spiritual singers, or zemari, chanted and clapped along to traditional praise songs known as mezmur.

Ethiopian crucifix Image copyright BBC/Amensisa Negera
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The worshippers then spent Friday night at Jan Meda and then on Saturday were sprinkled with holy water, re-enacting the baptism of Jesus.

Photos by the BBC's Amensisa Negera and AFP.

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