Melkam Meskel!

Melkam Meskel (Finding of the True Cross) to all who celebrate!

Meskel, The Finding of the True Cross, is celebrated by millions of Christians every year throughout Ethiopia. The festivities also mark the end of the three months of the rainy season and the return of summer.

According to early scribes, Empress Helena (Queen Eleni), mother of Constantine, and the first Christian Emperor of Rome travelled to the Holy Land. During this time she heard about the hiding place of three crosses that were used at the crucifixion of Jesus. Empress Eleni had a revelation in a dream and in the dream, she was told to make a bonfire. The instruction included that the smoke from the bonfire would point her exactly where the True Cross was buried. Queen Eleni ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood, and after adding frankincense, the bonfire was lit. The smoke of the bonfire rose high up into the sky. When the smoke settled back to the earth it pointed to the exact spot where the True Cross was buried.

(Image By DanielGirmaTsige – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Today, in 2021, we can share the excitement of Meskel in Meskel Square, Addis Ababa.

(Photo by Hilena Tafesse, with permission)