Ethiopians celebrate Meskel holiday together at East Side park, Columbus, Ohio

By Danae King

Members of Columbus’ Ethiopian community, which numbers some 40,000, gathered Friday at Big Walnut Park on the East Side to celebrate Meskel.

The annual holiday celebrates the story of the discovery in Ethiopia of the hidden cross Jesus was crucified on when Queen Helena in the third century lit a fire and the smoke showed her where it was.

Ethiopian Orthodox choir from across Ohio sing around the bonfire for the Meskel, Day of the Cross, at Big Walnut Park on the east side of Columbus, Friday, September 27, 2019. Meskel, is an annual religious holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox church and culture, commemorating the discovery of the True Cross. (Dispatch photo by Courtney Hergesheimer)

Though their accents and garb may be different, Moses Haregewoyn wants those around him to know that Ethiopian Christians share one very important thing with other Christians: the Holy Cross.

The cross, celebrated by Ethiopians around the world on the annual holiday of Meskel, is treasured by Ethiopian Christians and in the culture as a whole, said Haregewoyn, senior pastor at Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on the East Side, one of five Ethiopian churches in Columbus.

After Jesus was killed on the cross, it was brought to Ethiopia, and it’s still there today, he said.

The story is one everyone at a Meskel celebration at Big Walnut Park on the East Side seemed to know by heart: the cross Jesus was crucified on was hidden, so in the third century Queen Helena lit a large fire, and the smoke showed her where the cross was hidden

Read from source The Columbus Dispatch

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