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    Posted September 26, 2012 by
    Stockholm, Sweden

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    Ethiopians in Stockholm celebrated Demera


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter theoyes captured these vibrant images of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrating the annual Meskel religious festival, which commemorates what they believe is the finding of 'the true cross' by St Helena in the 4th century, on which Jesus was crucified. The highlight of the festival is a 'damera' ceremony, where a massive bonfire is lit and attendees celebrate with songs. "Many Ethiopians who live abroad stick to their culture and tradition no matter where they live and how difficult it is," he says. "I'd never been to this beautiful celebration in Stockholm and I was eager to document it."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    Hundreds followers of Ethiopian Orthodox church residing in Stockholm and its environs celebrated Demera, an annual religious holiday commemorating the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Helena (Saint Helena) in the fourth century by burning of a large bonfire, here early in the evening today . This Demera-procession takes place in the early evening the day before Meskel or on the day itself, according to local traditions. Even though the weather was bad, the turn out was much larger than expected; young and old, men and women Ethiopians came in large numbers to celebrate the annual event. Sunday school students and the clergies sang religious songs praising Jesus and the power of the Meskel (i.e. Cross).

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