Shot in 2019 in Addis Ababa
The Ark of the Covenant leaves Bisrate Gabriel church bang on time. The procession is lead by white robed children who line the now-closed dual carridgeway, singing and chanting as loud as their young lungs will allow.
Of course, it’s not the actual Ark – that’s purportedly held in numerous locales across the northern Ethiopian lowlands to keep wayward archaeologists at bay. This metaphorical act is repeated not just across Ethiopia but in all places of Coptic Orthodox worship. Timkat celebrates the christian faith’s bibical story of the babtism of baby Jesus in the river Jordan. The event sees processions led out of Orthodox churches in long, slow movements towards the nearest river or water source. Here they will stay until the follow day, singing and praying and dancing until the processions are finally led back to their churches for one final day of worship. It really is a sight to behold; thousands lining the streets in respect and celebration and color and noise on a day where the Ethiopian Orthodox religion welcomes all onlookers to witness their faith.
As is almost always the case, the onlookers make for solid subject matter…