Join us on this Historical Tour of Ethiopia scheduled to include the 2019 Meskel Festival. Explore the fascinating history of Ethiopia with visits to ancient cities, picturesque hinterlands and UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. The main Meskel celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire, the Demera, in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. This tradition is based on the revelation by the mother of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, which revealed the exact location of the True Cross. The ancient festival dates back 1,600 years and is celebrated with huge, evening bonfires with large, orderly but noisy torch-carrying throngs of participants accompanied by ornately robed priests carrying silver Coptic crosses. The flowering of the cross-shaped Meskel daisies also marks the end of the 3-month long rainy season and the return of the sun. This is a once in a lifetime experience that should not be missed!