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11 Nov 2015

A celebration commemorating saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine(4th century), who found the true cross in Jerusalem is a great festival celebrated 16 days after the New Year comes.

Tradition says that saint Helena lit a bon fire or burned incense and implored God to show her the way to the true cross and that the smoke led her to the path. And another tradition tells that part of the true cross was brought to Ethiopia by one of the king and on the way to the capitol, the faithful lit bonfires when passing it on through their village to notify the next village the presence of the true cross.

In preparation for Meskal, believers prepare the demera by tying several branches together and bundling them in the shape of a tepee with a cross decorated with the Adey Abeba daisy flower (the meskal flower) on the top.

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