Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, contains a public square known as Meskel Square.

This is the city's central square and the primary gathering place; it is laid out in a manner reminiscent of a gigantic amphitheater. It is frequently used as a location for public gatherings, demonstrations, and festivals, the most notable of which is the Meskel Festival, from which the area gets its name.


Learn about the event that made its mark on the global scale:

On the date 17 Meskerem in the Ethiopian calendar, which corresponds to September 27 in the Gregorian calendar, thousands of people congregate at Meskel Square for the annual celebration. Over 1,600 years have passed since the first celebration of the Meskel Festival. The word 'cross' is derived from the Hebrew word 'Meskel,' The festival is held to commemorate the moment when the crucifix was shown to Empress Helena of Constantinople. She was also Constantine the Great's mother.

In addition, the festival is regarded as a moment to celebrate the beginning of spring by displaying the distinctive bright yellow Meskel daisies.

Participate in the festivities to learn more about culture and social norms:

The festivities in Addis Ababa begin in the early afternoon when a procession carrying flaming torches approaches Meskel Square from several different directions.

The center of the gathering is dominated by a blazing pyramid known as a demera, surrounded by priests dressed in vividly hued robes, students, brass bands, and members of the military carrying enormous crosses and torches.

They use their torches to light the pyramid on fire, and the flames from the burning pyramid are kept going until dawn, long after the festivities that took place throughout the night have ended.

Understand how the site continues to unify the locales:

The rest of the year, the square continues to be a hub of activity, serving as the location for various events, ranging from public addresses and concerts to fairs and other large-scale gatherings.

Spend some time soaking in the natural beauty:

The 3.5 kilometers of Churchill Avenue stretches from Addis Ababa City Hall to Meskel Square, featuring spacious sidewalks and greenery areas.

Explore the neighborhood:

At one end of the square is a monument to the Red Terror Martyrs and a memorial museum dedicated to Qey Shibir. These structures allow visitors to learn more about the events that took place in the country in the late 1970s.

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    4 hours

Address of Meskel Square

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Opening & Closing time of Meskel Square

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday