BY STAFF REPORTER
Ethiopians will celebrate Gena, the birth of Jesus Christ, next Friday, January 7, 2022 warmly and uniquely. The festival will also be celebrated in the iconic and historic town of Lalibela- one of the Ethiopia’s holiest cities, which is also famous for its monolithic rock-cut churches, in a very peculiar and magnificent way.
It is noted that the historic and iconic town of Lalibela was attacked by fighters of the terrorist TPLF group. However, the government after beating and expelling the insurgents, it has announced that the upcoming Gena (Ethiopian Christmas) would be celebrated at the iconic town warmly as usual, but gloriously.
Ministry of Tourism has also recently announced as the upcoming Gena would be celebrated nationally in the historical town of Lalibela, a world heritage site on January 7, 2022.
Tourism Minister Amb. Nasise Chali noted that the Ministry has finalized preparations to welcome guests and mark the festival colorfully. As to her, in collaboration with the Administration of Amhara State, Monastery of Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches and local administrative bodies, several activities are underway to celebrate the festival in Lalibela which is also a center of pilgrimage and devotion.
The celebration of Gena festival at the historical town of Lalibela is aimed to stimulate the tourism industry of the country that has been highly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Minister stated.
Senior officials, archbishops, public figures, members of the Ethiopian Diaspora community who returned home as part of the Great Ethiopian Home Coming and tourists will attend the festival, according to the Ministry.
Meanwhile, Lalibela Town Administration also expressed that it has finalized preparation to welcome guests and celebrate the festival warmly at Debre Roha St. Lalibela. The City Administration is preparing to celebrate the big holiday and is welcoming guests, FBC reported referring AMC.
Lalibela City Administration Deputy Mayor Mandefro Tadesse said that the birth of Jesus Christ and King Lalibela would be celebrated in Debre Roha St. Lalibela Church magnificently.
He also said that the City Administration has set up a task force and finalized preparations, adding that special arrangements have been made to make the festival more enticing.
Mentioning that telecommunications, banking and other services have already started rendering services, Mandefro said that hotels are preparing to welcome guests warmly. Further, to ensure the safety of guests, wide-ranging arrangements have been made.
In addition to the Debre Roha St. Lalibela monasteries and churches, efforts have also been exerted make tourist destinations that are found around the monasteries open to visitors.
Guests, realizing that there is no any security problem, can come and celebrate the festival at Lalibela without and apprehension and fear, he added.
Lalibela Airport, which was damaged by the terrorist group, has started its daily flight to Lalibela. As it was learnt, the first flight to the town departed yesterday morning from Bole International Airport. And passengers who wish to travel to the town can make an appointment using the Airline’s app.
Lalibela, historical name Roha, is located in the heart of Ethiopia, some 645 km from Addis Ababa. The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela are famous for their rock-hewn churches. The eleven monolithic churches, for which the place is famous, were carved out of a single rock by King Lalibela.
Lalibela is an important site of Ethiopian Christianity and the churches designated as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
Following the war incited by the terrorist TPLF faction, the Lalibela Town was attacked badly by the rebel group. However, with the effort made to renovate the town, currently things have returned to their previous states in a semblance of normality. And as usual, Lalibela Town has finalized preparation to welcome its visitors.
Every year, Gena is celebrated around the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela in the presence of many Ethiopians living at home and abroad as well as foreign tourists flooding to the country to attend this splendid religious festival.
The January 4/2022