TIMKET OR EPIPHANY
This is the final great religious festival and is the most important Orthodox Christian festival in Ethiopia. It commemorates when saint John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Since Lalibella is one of the major centers of Christian pilgrimage, its version of Timkat is very unique.
CHRISTMAS OR GENA
Christmas or Gena celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ at the same time the rest of the Christian world celebrates it (Christmas Eve). At the midnight mass the Dabtaras sing special canticles and at noon on Christmas day, youths in traditional dress play genna chewata to commemorate the Sheppard’s who were playing this game outside the stable while Jesus was born (the game consists of pushing a wooden ball with a long stick similar to today’s game of hockey). It was these shepherds who spread the good news. The three wise men and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh are also celebrated.