The day before Timkat, we were alerted by singing and chanting outside our hotel windows, and wanted to get a closer look at the celebration that was just beginning to start. It seemed that school children of all ages were in their school uniforms and singing songs of praise. It was a very uplifting sight. The young people all looked so happy, and there were banners and flags waving everywhere.
The next day, Gondar truly became celebration central. There are several churches where processions start. During the ceremonies, a model of the Ark of the Covenant (called the Tabot) is reverently wrapped in rich cloth. It is carried in every procession on the head of the priest. The Talbot is usually rarely seen by the worshipers, and it represents the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah when he came to Jordan for Baptism. The priest is accompanied by deacons who carry liturgical parasols.
worshipers even enter the stream or pool and immerse themselves, symbolically renewing their baptismal vows. Unfortunately, we were unable to see this portion of the celebration, as we were scheduled to drive three hours to a peaceful lake town.
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
We checked in to our very homey guesthouse, The Annex B & B, then wandered over to a very nice restaurant for dinner, overlooking Lake Tana.
After watching the ceremony, we went for a short walk and found a secluded park. There were people sitting in the shade reading, we noticed, and many along the walkway that meanders along the side of Lake Tana. A very peaceful hideaway.