Timket has been celebrated in Ethiopia for over 1,500 years since the reign of Emperor Zer’a Ya’ekob. The celebration of Timket starts on the eve with a festive procession of the Tabot known as “Ketera” meaning to make a dam. The procession symbolizes the journey of Jesus from Galilee to the River Jordan and the Biblical scenes of David dancing around the Ark. Even though Ketera starts usually at 3 PM, the streets are crowded with the youth early in the morning. The youth gather early to clean up and paint the streets, decorate the streets with colorful balloons, flags, images, and biblical quotes. It is one of the ways the youth show their respect for the religious value of Timket. When the procession begins, the youth also coordinate to lay red carpet from the churches to where the Tabot rests.
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