The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday announced inscribing Ethiopian Epiphany on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Heritage.
Ethiopian Epiphany is a colourful festival celebrated all over the country to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ. It is recalled that in 2016 UNESCO has also listed Oromo’s Geda system that regulates political, economic, social and religious activities of the community, on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Heritage.
“We just heard the great news that the annual celebration of Timket, one of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church’s most widely celebrated holiday, has now been entered into the UNESCO World Heritage list. Congratulations for another win for our nation!” Takele Umma, Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa City, twitted.
Including the epiphany of Ethiopia , UNESCO has announced inscribing five cultural practices on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Heritage. These are:
– Music and dance of Dominican Bachata, Dominican Republic,
– Alpinism, France; Italy; Switzerland,
– Traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār, Iran (Islamic Republic of), and
– Artisanal talavera of Puebla and Tlaxcala (Mexico) and ceramics of Talavera de la Reina and El Puente del Arzobispo (Spain) making process, Mexico, Spain
The commemoration of Ethiopian Epiphany, which is religious and cultural festival, starts on the eve of the main festival.
Ethiopian Epiphany begins when people escort their parish church tabot, a representation of the Tables of the Law, to a pool, river or artificial reservoir.
Celebrants then attend night-long prayers and hymn services, before taking part in the actual festival the following day, when each tabot is transported back to its church.
UNESCO stated that understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life.