In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, added Meskel to the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

By Ama Athur Asmah (9News Denver) |

AURORA, Col.— Meskel is celebrated every September after the Ethiopian New Year.

“Meskel means cross,” said Woldey Assefa, chair of the board at St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Aurora. “This is where we celebrate once a year, the finding of the true cross,” said Woldey.

Members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church believe the true cross is the cross of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

“Saint Helena through the spirits was told to find a high-level mountain where there’s smoke coming out to where that would be the true cross that she could find,” said Woldey.

“Really the day of Meskel was Wednesday in our calendar. So, on Wednesday, throughout Ethiopia, there was a huge celebration. So, as we are immigrants here we bring out tradition,” Woldey said.

In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, added Meskel to the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

“It’s one of the few celebrations that Ethiopia has provided to the world,” said Woldey.

The weekend celebration was meaningful to Woldeyfor more reasons than one.

“It’s a big day for us because not only do we celebrate Meskel but we celebrate the day in which this church has been established,” said Woldey.

This year marks the 25th year anniversary of St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Source: 9News Denver
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