Tourists wander the planet crossing long ways to discover something that is unique to them and entice their mind and soul. Street festivals are preferable and perfect to demonstrate the real social, political, economic, cultural, and artistic values of a given society to everyone. Organizing such festivals bears a tangible fruits to the owners.
Recently, the annual Ethiopian Timket (Epiphany) street festival was marked colourfully and peacefully in the historic city of Gondar. The marking of this unique festival in the presence of hundreds of thousands celebrants coming from home and abroad witnessed that Ethiopia transits to a brighter period after months of conflict orchestrated by its internal and external enemies. Not only that, the colourful and peaceful celebration of the festival with massive gatherings has helped to stimulate Ethiopia’s economy through attracting huge tourists.
What is more, the colorful Timket festival celebration has aborted the wrong notion of enemies. Instead, it attests Ethiopians’ unity and togetherness as they [Ethiopians living at home and abroad] gathered as one and attended the event warmly.
During the Timket celebration, Amhara State President Yilkal Kefale (PhD) said that the State’s administration will work broadly to further make Gondar tourist friendly city and create ample job opportunities to the growing number of the youths. The Ethiopian government has given due priority to develop and harness the untapped tourism potentials.
This year, the Ethiopian Diasporas throughout the world have shown their deep solidarity with the motherland. The great Ethiopian Diasporas and friends of Ethiopia homecoming challenge was organized in connection with the grand Ethiopian Gena (Christmas) celebration in Lalibela and Ethiopian Timket (the baptism of Jesus) festival in Gondar; in which both were celebrated warmly and colorfully in the two places respectively.
Accordingly, the homecoming challenge achieved the targets. The Ethiopian Diasporas community massively has returned to the homeland and given impetus to the country’s tourism sector that has been hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The socio-economic activities of the historical towns of Lalibela and Gondar are hugely intertwined with tourists. The towns embrace untapped tourists attractions potentials. They give special recognition to their guests and maintain sustainable peace that helps gain credibility among visitors to come again.
“Residents of Gondar show genuine love and commitment to host their guests at any time. They feel happy when their guests are happy. It is surprising to see everyone adorned with different traditional dressing and walk with grace on the streets of the historical Gondar Town. They also demonstrated the area’s traditional songs, dancing, and Timket’s ceremonial process starting from the eve of Timket.”
The aforementioned speech was taken from the Ethiopian Diaspora Mesfin Dagnachew who came to Ethiopia after eight years of stay in the Europe. He expressed his happiness in the peacefulness of the festival and amused by the ceremonial process.
As to him, Ethiopia embraces vast and influential street festivals that help attract more local and international tourists. Therefore, more assignments are left ahead to utilize the potentials properly.
Dawit Aynachew came from the U.S. He said that he attended Timket festival four years ago in Gondar and he comes again following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) call to one million Ethiopian Diasporas to join the Great Ethiopians Homecoming Challenge. Gondar is calm and the people are celebrating the day with various songs, dances, and Ethiopian Orthodox spiritual song which makes Gonder’s Timket outstanding from the other parts of the country.
As to him, the eve of Timket is on-going with various colorful ceremonial occasions in Gonder. “The Ethiopian government should work hand in hand with pertinent stakeholders to harness the UNESCO registered world heritages potentials in the tourism sector.”
Historian Jeff Pearce from Canada for his part told The that he is attending Ethiopian Timket for the first time and is amused by the celebration. “Timket is special in Gondar. I am not a Christian. However, I love everything here,” he said.
Ethiopia is celebrating the colourful Timket peacefully amid the recent terrorist TPLF’s attacks on innocent civilians and damages of infrastructure, he opined.
Gondar is among the leading destination where Timket festival is celebrated annually with huge gatherings of local and international tourists.
BY TEWODROS KASSA
FRIDAY 28 JANUARY 2022