12 Days Meskel (Finding of the True Cross) Festival Tour

TYPOLOGIES

Cultural

DIFFICULTY

Low

MIN. AGE

3 Years

3169 $

Amazing Experience - September 27 (September 28 during leap year)

Tour Code: MFT321
Duration: 11 nights and 12 days
Transportation: Air plane, Minivan, 4ᵡ4 Toyota Land
cruiser.

Meskel (Finding of the True Cross), is the celebration of the Finding of remnants of the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified. The word” Meskel” means “Cross” in Amharic. According to Christian tradition, St. Eleni (Empress Helena) discovered the hiding place of three crosses used at the Crucifixion of Jesus. In her dream, Eleni was told she should make a bonfire; the direction of the smoke would tell her the exact location of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified. She followed the directions from her dream,and the smoke landed exactly where the cross was buried.Meskel celebrations begin the night before with large bonfires topped with a cross and decorated with meskel flowers. The bonfire preparations are blessed and burned while revellers sing and dance around the fire, locally called demera. It is believed that the direction of the smoke will predict the future for the year to come. After the demera, has burnt out, the faithful mark crosses on their fore heads with the ash. The biggest Meskel celebration is in Addis Ababa, held in the centrally-located Meskel Square. Gondar, Axum and Lalibela is also good locations to celebrate this festival. Probably the most exuberant celebrations take place in the region of the Gurage people, southwest of Addis.

Depending on your arrival, you will be well come! At Bole International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Next day in the morning you will commence a guided city tour of Addis Ababa at 8:00AM.The city, Addis Ababa was founded by Emperor Menelik 2 in 1886.Addis Ababa in Amharic means "New Flower". The capital city is home for Africa's Diplomatic capital with the presence of the Head Quartets of the African Union and many embassies. We continued our drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) high for a panoramic view of Addis, visited the Entoto Museum with historical and Royal Exhibit, and the church of St.Mary. Drive back to Addis Ababa and visit Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Holy Trinity Cathedral and Merkato Market (One of the biggest Open Air Markets in Africa).

Accommodation:Azzeman Hotel

Accommodation upgrades option: Best Western plus pearl Addis.

Meals:None

In the morning we continue to visit the remaining part of the city tour,Unity park and Entoto Park.In the afternoon,
Attend the finding of true cross festival with bone fire ceremony at Meskelsquare, Addis Ababa.

Accommodation:Azzeman Hotel

Accommodation upgrades option: Best Western plus pearl Addis.

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, drive to Debre Markos, enroute visit Debre Libanos monastery and Portuguese bridge. Accommodation: LBS Hotel

Today you drive to Bahir Dar. After lunch, visit Lake Tana Monasteries.

Accommodation: Jacaranda Hotel

Morning sightseeing of the 17th century Portuguese Bride and Blue Nile Falls, drive to Gondar enroute explore rural Amhara
Community and then, drive to Gondar.

Accommodation:Goha Hotel

Visit Fasiladas Compound,Fasiladas Bath and DebreBrehan Silase church and then Drive to Simien Mountains National Park.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge.

In the afternoon drive back to Gondar.

Accommodation:Goha Hotel.

Visit UNESCO’s World Heritage Site of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.

Accommodation:Sora Lodge.

Half day city tour of Axum.

Accommodation:Sabean Hotel.

Half day city tour of Axum,drive to Hawsen via YehaTemple.

Accommodation:Vision Hotel.

Sightseeing of rural Gheralta churches in Tigray: Abuna Yemata guh Got and Maryam Korkor.

Accommodation:Vision Hotel.

Drive to Mekele,visit churches en route and catch a flight for Addis Ababa.
In the evening/afternoon, farewell party with free cultural Dinner and traditional music to experience Ethiopia’s Cultural meals .After farewell part, transfer to Bole International airport,for international departure. End of tour.

Notice:This itinerary can be amended up on request

Tour Map