The Royal Month, Maskaram መስከረም
By Mitiku Adisu
Immediately you pass through the gates (if you are lucky) you find all kinds of goodies waiting for you: enqutatash wrapped in the New Year; nosegays for your godparents, colored pencil drawings for your favorite uncle and so on. An air of expectancy permeates the sun, the moon, the nights, the days, a gust of wind and adoring adéy flowers. Conversations take a new turn for what seems days on end.
Maskaram is that time of the year when Nature relents and splashes her splendors. In the words of the Psalmist,
The hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing. [Psalm 65: 12b-13]
And a little farther on on the 17th is Masqal. Masqal arrives bearing the Cross, spitting Fire, and heralding discovery, expectancy, and baptism by fire and water. This is the one time that every village square and household in Ethiopia is placed on the same footing. In this, the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid and the purification that engendered is publicly affirmed. May the Lord reign. May his peace reign.
The month of Maskaram reigns royal in Ethiopia. The rest of the world has misnamed it September. And that’s fine by us. Happy Masqal.
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