Meskel (the finding of the true cross)

Posted: August 30, 2015 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa

Meskel is said to be in memory of the finding of the true cross by Empress Eleni of Ethiopia. The eve of Meskel (26thof September) is called Demera. A huge bonfire is built, topped with a cross to which flowers are tied. The patriarch of the Orthodox Church leads the lightening ceremony. After the bonfire is blessed dancing and singing begins around it and an inner feeling of brightness spreads through all those around it.

The day after Demera is Meskel. The festival coincidences with the mass blooming of yellow Meskel daisies, which are a symbol of a new beginning after the rainy season. In every major city the ceremony is celebrated colorfully, however the best place to celebrate Meskel is the capital Addis Ababa. Meskel for Dorze people is the celebration of New Year.

Meskel celebration Addis Ababa fanos ethiopia tours

5 -Days Tour to Meskel Celebration (the Finding of the True Cross) at Dorze


Tour Code:5 – Days Tour to MeskelCelebration (the Finding of the True Cross) at Dorze

Attractions: History, Religion, &Scenery

Duration: 5 Days &6 Nights

Transportation: Surface drive, Flights & Boat ride

Day 1 (Thursday 24 September, 2015): Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port

Meet and greet you FANOS Ethiopia Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel.

Depending on your arrival visit/city tour in Addis Ababa. You will have an early breakfast and your first visit in Addis Ababa will be the National Museum. It houses numerous antiquarian relics and archaeological artifacts (most famous exhibit is the 3.5 million year old skeleton of Lucy). Then you will continue to visit Mount Entoto (3,200 above sea level. The Church of St Mary (1885) and Emperor Menelik II Palace. The Entoto Museum, with its historical exhibits is well worth a visit.

After lunch you will visit Trinity Cathedral. It was constructed by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1947 (ornamented with carvings and mosaic and other artistic works such as paintings of saints and the apostles on the stained glass) and visit Merkato, the largest open market in Africa. In the evening, you will have dinner at the hotel and you will rest.Overnight stay in Bole Ambassador Hotel, Addis Ababa.

Day 2 (Friday 25 September): Drive to Dorze

After an early morning breakfast, you will drive to Dorze (505 Km from Addis). On the way you will visit to the Tiya Stelae (90 Km from Addisa UNESCO heritage, engraved grave marking standing stelae). You will stop for lunch at Wolayta Sodo (330 Km from Addis).

You will be arriving in Dorze late afternoon and check into a lodge. You will have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Tsaye Lodge.

Day 3 (Saturday 26 September): Visit to Dorze Village & attend the Demera (bonfire)

After breakfast, you will visit to the Dorze village (famous for their bee hive shaped houses, weaving styles and their lifestyle).

Late in the afternoon attend the eve of Meskel celebration Demera (on September 26 every year by lighting Demera, the bonfire which honors the memory of the bonfire of the Queen Elleni and her discovery of the site of the Cross and the beginning of the excavation of the site.

Day 4 (Sunday 27 September): Meskel Celebration (the Finding of the True Cross) at Dorze

After breakfast, you will visit some households to see how the Dorze people celebrate the Mesekel festival. You will have lunch in Dorze.

Then, after lunch you will drive to Arba Minch (45Km from Dorze). You will be arriving in Arba Minch late afternoon and check into a lodge. You will have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Paradise Lodge.

Day 5: Flight back to Addis Ababa

After a relaxed breakfast, a flight will bring you back to Addis Ababa. You will arrive in Addis Ababa midday/early afternoon where you will do some shopping for souvenirs.

Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner to Ethiopian (Habesha 2000 or YOD Abyssinia) traditional restaurant where you will taste Ethiopian food & drinks and a live music & dance.

Then depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.

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Number of Participant Cost in USD Vehicles Type
2 – 4 Pax    1,660.00 One 4WD
5 -10 pax     1,195.00 Two-Three 4WD
11 – 16Pax     1,040.00 Three – Four 4WD
17 – 21 Pax          885.00 Four – Five 4WD
Single Supplement 50 USD


Price includes:

  • Well-maintained & insured Vehicle for the whole tour
  • Fuel
  • Domestic flights; Arba Minch – Addis Ababa
  • Meals on full-board basis (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Hotel room on Double occupancy
  • All entrance fees, local guide fee,
  • Bottled natural water every day
  • VAT tax.

Price DOES NOT include:

  • International flight
  • Personal expenses (tips, photo & video fees, phone calls, table drinks, laundry, etc.),
  • Any other services/expenses not mentioned above.

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