3 Days Addis Ababa, Lalibela and Ethiopian Christmas

This package focuses on the annual celebration of Ethiopian Christmas at Lalibela fall on 27th of January, the festival that is attended by tens of thousands of people from all over Ethiopia, making it one of the most joyous annual pilgrimages in Lalibela, the “sacred city of the Ethiopians”.

Overview

In addition to the celebration of Christmas, this cultural and historical adventure takes you through the rich historical, religious and natural attractions of Ethiopia, which encompasses the historical towns of Addis Ababa, and Lalibela.

On the way to Lalibela the magnificent mountain scenery of the Abune Yosef Mountains will be seen by far. After that you precede to Lalibela city for the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela dated back to 12th and 13th century, often referred to as the “Eighth wonder of the World”.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival at Bole International Airport

Upon arrival at Bole International Airport you will be met by a Scenic Ethiopia Tours representative and be taken to your reserved hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we have various sightseeing options

The largest city of Ethiopia and its capital city at the same time is Addis Abeba, which in Amharic means “a new flower”. It is located in the center of the country, 2400 above the sea. It is one of the highest-located capital cities in the world. According to many sources, Addis Abeba is third in such classification, after Bolivian La Paz and Ecuador’s Quito.
Before noon our tour will begin with seeing the orthodox cathedral of the Holy Trinity. It is the most important church in Ethiopia. In this church, there is a mausoleum of the last emperor of Ethiopia – Haile Selasje. His wife is also buried there. Then, we will see the National Museum that is said to be one of the most important museums in whole Sub-Saharian Africa. 3.2 million-years old bones of our grand…. Ancestor – Lucy, are one of the most famous exhibit of their collection. The attention of visitors is drawn by a rich collection of insignia of emperor and churches, costumes and weapons. The oldest exhibits are rock sculptures and inscriptions from the times of Queen Saba, found near Aksum and in today’s Eritrea.

The lunch break will take place in the restaurant serving Ethiopian dishes and local beer at one of the oldest and the first hotel built by emperor Menelik II and his wife empress Tayitu hotel.

Afternoon (After lunch) we will climb the Entoto hill located 3200 m above the sea. Here located was the capital city of Ethiopia, before Menelik II moved it to Addis Abeba. The king’s palace remained until today. The local museum exhibits crowns belonging to kings and church, costumes and insignia.

Day 2
Fly to Lalibela

Fly to Lalibela and take the airport shuttle transfer to the Town (25 minute) and visit the rock hewn churches of Lalibela. Lalibela is most famous for its churches.
Visit the 12-13th century Rock hewn churches called the Eighth wonder of the world which are still active places of worship and host many major religious Ceremonies. The churches are carved out of solid rock, and each has unique architectural features. Take a wander through the tunnels and stairways linking the churches together.

The Rock hewn church’s that we will visit today before lunch will be the first group of churches included: Bete Medhanialem, Bete Mariam, BeteMeskel, BeteDenagl and BeteGolo gota Michal
After lunch we will continue our journey in To Ethiopians long and marvellous past with a visit to other sent Lalibela Remarkable churches. There architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed.

The Rock Hewn Churches that we will visit this afternoon the second group of churches and St, Gorge it included: BeteGebral, BeteMerquros, Bete Emanule, Betelehiam ,Bete Aba Libanos and BeteGhiorgis .
Once we finished visiting the second group of churches and we will walk to the village so the complex bewildering labyrinth of underground Tunnels to the monastery where the monks and nuns live. In evening after you eat your dinner and short break you will continue to Bete Mariyam church to atend the holy night of X-Mass.

Year after year Christians recall the story of the Christ child in a manger, shepherds on Judean hills witnessing the celestial song of angels as they pronounced the Long Expected One had come.
Celebrated on January 7th and preceded by a fast of 40 days, on the eve of Christmas people gather in churches for mass that lasts about 3 hours. The clergy and “Debtera” (scholars versed in liturgy and music of the church) lift their voices in hymns and chant just as it has been for over a thousand years when Ethiopia accepted Christianity.

After mass, the fast is broken so the clergy and crowd alike disperse to their homes to feast. Food and drink are plentiful, with many homes preparing special meals that are characteristic to all big festivities highlighted on the Ethiopian calendar.

Day 3
Fly back to Addis Ababa

Caught the flight back from Lalibela to Addis, getting to sleep in a little later of this evening and enjoy a leisurely Local dish in the best restaurant of the town. Then back you your home!

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3 Days Addis Ababa, Lalibela and Ethiopian Christmas