The Ethiopia Meskel celebration is an annual religious holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox church, and is held to commemorate the supposed discovery of the True Cross upon which Jesus was crucified by the Romans. The legend goes that in the 4th century BC the Roman Empress Helena received a vision in a dream telling her where to find the cross. She ordered the people of Jerusalem to collect wood, and the smoke from a huge bonfire apparently indicated the location where the cross was buried.
The True Cross Meskel celebration is considered the most important religious holiday in Ethiopia, largely because it’s believed that a piece of the cross Saint Helena discovered was brought to Ethiopia, and is housed in the mountains of Amba Geshen.
The Ethiopia True Cross festival is held in Meskel Square in Debark, Gondar, Ehtiopia. It’s there that the Demera, a large bonfire in commemoration of that of Empress Helena, is constructed.