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Emperor Haile Selassie attends the festival of Teqetsel Tsige/ተቀፀል ጽጌ, September 1969

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Emperor Haile Selassie attending one of Ethiopia’s oldest and most important religious festivals celebrating the arrival in the city of a part of holy cross.

In a centuries old ceremony outside the royal palace thousands of people gathered to watch priests and high church dignitaries perform ancient rites.

After a brief historical outline of the festival the priests took over with a symbolic dance, ending with the distribution of beautifully decorated flowers bearing the sign of the cross.

The annual festival, known as “teketsel tsege”, preceded the most colourful ceremony of the year “meskel” which commemorates the finding of the true cross by st. Helen, mother of the emperor Constantine.

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