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Timket                              abducted from Jerusalem to Ethiopia
                                              during the first millennium BC.
Timket, or Timkat, is Ethiopian
             language for Epiphany. Alt-      Early afternoon in the Timket Eve, the
             hough the holiday commemo-       country seems to be mobilised by the
             rating Christ's baptism in the   boisterous blowhorn. The Tabot,
River Jordan is observed by Christians in
many parts of the world, Timket is of
special significance to the Ethiopians. It
is also the most significant and colourful
event of the year. Secular elements are
also part of this largely religious holiday.
It has as much fun loving as soul search.

The country’s association to Judaism can
be dated back to 10th century BC when
the Queen of Sheba met King Solomon.
Although Christianity was declared a
state religion in Ethiopia in 330AD, the
New Testament (Acts 8:26-38) first doc-
uments the conversion of an Ethiopian
court official to Christian by Philip in the
first century AD. Ethiopians take fervent
pride of these Christian and Judaist link-
ages, which inspire their belief that they
are the chosen people of God.

The festival starts on January 18, eleven
days after the orthodox Christmas. The
very centre of the Timket ceremony is
the most sacred element of the Ethiopian
orthodox church – Tabot. It is a replica of
the Ark of the Covenant which, according
to the Ethiopian epic Kebra Negast, was
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