Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ethiopia celebrates the year 2000

Revellers celebrating the approach of the Ethiopian Millennium
By Mike Pflanz in Lalibela
Last Updated: 8:41am BST 12/09/2007
Amid clouds of incense and swathed in white robes, priests of Ethiopia's ancient Christian Orthodox Church yesterday chanted their last Mass ahead of today's new millennium.

The country's unique calendar runs almost eight years behind the West's Gregorian version, meaning that millions of people marked New Year's Eve 1999 last night.
Pilgrims gathered in the medieval capital, Lalibela, where 800-year-old monolithic churches are carved below ground out of the solid rock of a 8,500ft-high basalt plateau.
"We thank God that we are alive at this important time, when we can honour our ancestors and our Church and pray for another 1,000 years of worship," Aba Gebera Yesus, Archbishop of Lalibela, said.
"This great day gives us the chance to reaffirm our religion and our devotion to keep the bright light of our culture protected and preserved." Read the rest here

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