Day 5: Lalibela-Excursion to Asheten Mariam-Timket Eve
In the morning, mule ride, and walk to the top of Asheten Mariam Monastery. This is very famous for its 12-century monastery church and beautiful view at 10,298 ft above sea level. We will walk/mule ride through dramatic highland scenery and which eventually ends in a beautiful serene agricultural hamlet.
The rock-hewn churches that you will visit today include: Bete Medhani Alem, Bete Mariam,Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Golgotha Michael and Bete Giorgis.
In the afternoon, witness one of the most colorful and highly celebrated festivals in Ethiopia, theTimket eve ceremony, Ketera. During Ketera, priests take out the Tabots- replicas of the original Ark of the Covenant, from each church and bless the water of the pool where the next day’ celebration will take place. At Lalibela all the Taboats are taken to the ‘Taboat Maderia’, accompanied by priests bearing prayer sticks and sistra, ringing bells, blowing trumpets, and swinging bronze censors from which wisps of incense smoke escape into the evening air. TheTabots are kept in their special tent in the meadow, each hoisting a proud banner depicting the church’s saint in front. The dancing and chanting by the priest and the faithful continue all night long.
After having dinner and rest at the hotel, we will return to the ‘Taboat Maderia’ to attend the night celebrations. Overnight in Hotel