The Holiday SZN

By Meron Begashaw

EDF_Blog2The holiday season has officially come and gone. In Ethiopia, it seems a little longer for those who observe the festive Timket, or Epiphany.  This holiday is held in mid-January, elongating an already packed month touting New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Gena, or Ethiopian Christmas. Being here for the Fellowship keeps me far away from the familiarity, and the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season – the garland and tinsel, packed shopping malls, eagerness to welcome the upcoming new year, delicious leftovers, and more.

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Meron2By Meron Begashaw

As a member of an active immigrant Ethiopian community in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to experience the pleasures of our culture, traditions, and, with much fervor, our holidays on the grandest of scales. As an Orthodox Christian, I can, for example, attest to the elaborate, deeply spiritual, and somewhat comparable-to-Ethiopia experience that is the Timket holiday in Los Angeles. This annual celebration of Epiphany is arguably one of the largest – in both the number of partakers and the scope of festivities – in the Diaspora. In my imagination, nothing can compare to celebrating holidays in the land that originated the ornate practices we replicate in the Diaspora. This is one of the reasons why I was so excited to celebrate Meskel, the holiday whose devotees commemorate the finding of the Christian True Cross, for the first time ever in Ethiopia.

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