Millions of followers of the Orthodox Church throughout Ethiopia have celebrated the traditional Demera holiday on the eve of the Meskel festival.
CU PULL BACK TO GV EXTERIOR Cross placed on pile of wood in Revolution Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with people watching proceedings.
CU PULL BACK TO GV Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Union Church His Holiness Albuna Tekle Haimanot with senior clergymen on platform.
SCU PULL BACK TO SV Clergyman reading from bible surrounded by robed clergymen.
SV Clergymen watching ceremony,
SCU Albuna Tekle haimanot giving blessing in front of microphone PAN TO clergymen and worshippers standing nearby.
GV Young girls in robes dancing in circle.
GV Large crowd in Revolution Square watching fire burning. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Millions of followers of the Orthodox Church throughout Ethiopia have celebrated the traditional Demera holiday on the eve of the Meskel festival. The Christian celebrations commemorate the finding of the "True Cross" on which Christ is said to have been crucified.
SYNOPSIS: Thousand of wooden torches had been placed in Addis Ababa's Revolution Square by pilgrims to from the traditional Demera. The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Union Church, Albuna Tekle Haimanot, led the ceremony which was attended by the heads of monasteries, archbishops, clergymen and a large crowd.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Union Church is the official Church of the state Founded in the fourth century A.D. it is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world. There are about ten million members of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia, comprising almost one third of the country's population.
Youth groups from several churches in Addis Ababa performed religious dances. The climax was the traditional lighting of a bonfire from the torches of pilgrims from all over Ethiopia.