ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church marked the Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket) on Thursday in commemoration of the Baptism of Jesus Christ at the Jordan River.
The Timket features colorful celebrations in various parts of the East African country that attracted many foreign tourists with traditional costumes, singing and dancing.
At Jan Meda in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, archbishops, priests and other dignitaries attended the celebrations along with large crowds of the faithful and foreign tourists.
The church marks Timket on January 19th every year, but the celebrations start on the eve dubbed "Ketera," when replicas of the Ark of the Covenant (Tabots) are taken out of churches to nearby river or pool of water where the Baptism of Christ is commemorated.
The Tabots will be returned after spending a night in temporary tents at the main sites of the festival, where mass prayers and other church services are also conducted.
While to and from their respective churches, the Tabots carried by priests are accompanied all along by songs of Sunday School students as well as chanting and dancing crowds.
After prayers on the main day of Timket, holy water is sprinkled by priests on the faithful gathered at the respective sites.