Be one of a few foreigners to witness this special saints day and follow it with walk in the mountains of Meket.
A painting of Saint-King Lalibela, on a canvas in Lalibela
St Mikael’s day in Lalibela and a Tesfa Trek in Meket
Come and visit Lalibela for Senay Mikael, the St Michael’s day celebrated on Sunday 19th June is one of the biggest saint’s days in Lalibela, with it also marking the anniversary of Saint-King Lalibela’s death. The Church of Mikael in Lalibela is connected to the church known as Golgotha where Lalibela himself is buried.
Only Gena (Ethiopian Christmas) is a bigger celebration in the town.
Fly in on Saturday and see the market – a day when the town is really buzzing, and visit the other churches. After the
Entrance to Mikael & Golgotta in Lalibela
processions and celebrations on Sunday morning head off to Meket to send a couple of days trekking in the mountains before coming back for a flight to Addis on Tuesday.
See details here – prices and tour itinerary
A Meket farmer enjoys the view
A Tabot being paraded
All goes silent. The murmuring from the churches has stopped. The Tabots have left the church to be paraded in the compound. They are the sacred holy heart of each church, often said to be a replica of the Arc of Covenant, but actually a replica of the Arc’s contents – the tablets of stone. The town is silent. No one likes to drive when the Tabots are out, so many taxis are not working.
A Sea of yellow shirts as the Great Ethiopian Run sets off – curtsey of the GER -http://ethiopianrun.org
Its also the start of the run, thousands of participants gathered in Meskal Square in the heart of Addis are off in a sea of green and yellow.. the top athletes will finish in under 30 minutes, some twenty thousand will finish in the hour that follows, running, walking and dancing their way along the course- my 12 year old son with them.
Today is Senay Mikael in Ethiopia (Senay being the month), and is one of the three big St.Michael’s days. The saints’s days come round every month (Mikael on the 12th of each month), but each church celebrates one or two and occasionally three big ‘annual days’. St.Michael’s big annual days are in Senay (now), Hedar (November) and Ter (January – this is the day after Timkat).
In the west Michaelmas was celebrated on 29th September and gave rise to the name of that autumn term in universities, and was one of the 4 days when quarterly rent payments were due.Things generally started a new at Michaelmas.
In Ethiopia the Senay 12 also marks the anniversary of the death of King and Saint Lalibela, and so in Lalibela itself today is very special as both Mikael and Lalibela’s tabots will be paraded out.
A big saints day coming up for anyone planing a trip to Lalibela. On Thu 19 June (Senay 12) it is both the anniversary of King Lalibela’s death (808 years ago), and it is the big St Mikael’s day for the year. Both tabots will come out, there will be decorated horses and mules and the whole town will be out to celebrate. This is Lalibela’s second most important day (after Ethiopian Christmas) If you can make it there then it will be a day never to forget.
You could fly into Lalibela on Thursday – see the celebrations that day (after mass) and next day go on a trek in the mountains around, or spend some more time visiting the labyrinth of churches in the town.
Let Tesfa Tours help arrange a trip to see this magical town on this special day.