Meskel in Eritrea ― Date, History, and Details

Meskel in Eritrea

Meskel in Eritrea may be something you want to learn more about, and we want to help with that.

Let's dive deeper into learning more about the history of Meskel in Eritrea and why people celebrate or observe it.

History of Meskel in Eritrea and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Meskel is a religious holiday celebrated by the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. The holiday is celebrated on September 27, which is also the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Western Christian calendar.

Meskel is one of the most important holidays in the Eritrean Orthodox calendar. On this day, Eritreans all over the country take part in a colorful procession known as Demera. The procession starts at a monastery or church and makes its way to a central square or open area. There, a large bonfire is lit and everyone dances around it, singing religious songs.

The word Meskel comes from the Ethiopic (Ge’ez) word for cross, መስቀል (mesqel). The holiday is also known as Finding of the True Cross, Cross-Finding Day, or simply the Feast of the Cross.