Ethiopian Christmas with the historic route
- Tour Code PETT-FD5
- Small Group fixed departure
- 9 days, from 31. Dec 2019 – 08. Jan 2020
- This tour gives you the chance to celebrate Christmas a second time. Witness an Orthodox Christmas celebration with ancient history & culture of the “Historic Route”
This 9 Days Ethiopian Christmas Festival tour with the Historic Route of Ethiopia takes you to Ethiopia’s Historic North with a visit to some of the major highlights including 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On this tour you will celebrate Ethiopian Christmas around the rock hewn churches of St. Lalibela with pilgrims who came on their barefoot to share the blessing of this special ceremony. You will also visit some of the majour highlights on the Historic Route including the island Monasteries of Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, The Blue Nile Falls, the fairy-tale castles of Gonder , the Siimien Mountains National Park and so much more.
At St. Lalibela, it is celebrated with greater devotion, chanting, dancing, and singing around the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela which were built more than 800 years ago. The ancient city of St. Lalibela will be filled with tens of thousands of pilgrims who come from all directions of Ethiopia and from all walks of life to share the blessing of Christmas. Most of the pilgrims reach at St. Lalibela from far off hamlets and inaccessible valleys, walking on their bare foot for days, weeks, and even for months to share the blessing on Christmas day. Even if Ethiopian Christmas is on January 7, there will be different ceremonies to be held around the rock-hewn churches starting the night of 4th January. This is an ancient Christian tradition which has remained unchanged and witnessing this event, you feel like you are transported centuries and centuries back in time.
On the morning of January 7, the biggest celebration will be held around Bete Mariam. On this day, as it has been going on centuries over centuries; the priest will be standing in line with their drums and sistra on the cliff edge of Bete Mariam, called MameGaria. On the bottom there will be some more priests dressed differently to those up on the top the cliff. The priest on the bottom symbolizes the shepherds and the priest on the top cliff symbolizes the angels announcing and celebrating the the birth of Jesus. You can’t help, but witness a scene the same to this one has been going on here on this day centuries over centuries in the same manner.
As you travel by road to the most part, you will visit the country’s Step back in time and explore thousands of years of history, legend, and lore as you take this trip to the Historic Route of Ethiopia to witness one of the most important and ancient festivals celebrated around the rock-hewn churches of St. Lalibela with more visits to the Historic Route.
- roundtrip as per program
- all necessary transfers
- 8 nights accommodation in good hotels (4-star in Addis Abeba) in double rooms
- all meals as stated in the program
- all entrance fees
- English speaking, qualified national tour guide
- farewell-dinner (flight schedule permitting)
- visa fees
- meals not stated in the program
- All expenses of personal nature (drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
Departure TimeApproximately 6.30AM
Return TimeApproximately 1.30PM
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable and light
Arrive Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa- Bahirdar (B-D)
Lake Tana-Blue Nile Falls-Bahir Dar (B-D)
Bahir Dar-Gondar (B-D)
Excursion to Simien Mountains National Park (B-D)
Gondar – Lalibela –Bete Emanuel night ceremony (B-D)
January:Lalibela Celebrations at Bete Emanuel (B-D)
Ethiopian Christmas Eve-Lalibela (B-D)
Lalibela-Addis Ababa-Departure (B-D)