Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Abune Mathias called on all to strive for peace and enhanced unity in a message he delivered at the celebration of the annual Meskel eve locally known as Demera today.
The eve of Meskel locally known Demera is being colorfully celebrated at Meskel Square in the capital Addis Ababa.
During the occasion, Abune Mathias indicated that Meskel, which is annually celebrated by Christians to commemorate the discovery of the true cross on which Jesus was crucified, is a symbolic event that brought peace, love and salvation to humanity.
He further urged all Ethiopians and beyond to strive for peace, love and unity among themselves.
Addis Ababa Deputy Mayor, Adanech Abiebie told the gathering the importance of unity to ensuring development and the national sovereignty of the country.
There are external and internal forces attempting to hide the bold reality of Ethiopia, Adanech said, “However, Ethiopia’s truth will shine just like the true cross, and the nation will prevail” she added.
She further expressed gratitude to all Ethiopians who have been tirelessly working to make clear the existing realities in Ethiopia to the global community and safeguard the sovereignty of the country in various ways.
The Deputy Mayor has also called all citizens across the world and in the country to continue their support in the fight against the terrorist TPLF and stride for national prosperity in unison.
Meskel which literally means cross has been celebrated in Ethiopia for more than 1,600 years as an outdoor religious festival and is registered at UNESCO in December 2013 as an Intangible World Heritage.
Demera is a colorful occasion that attracts huge gathering of believers and several guests mostly dressed in robes and traditional clothes.
The holy Demera bonfire lighting signifies the efforts made by St. Helena to find the cross while the Meskel celebration commemorates the finding of the cross in the 4th century.
Tens of thousands of people including President Sahlework Zewde, other high ranking government officials and diplomats have attended the ceremony held at Meskel Square in the center of the capital.