Finding of the True Cross

Finding of the True Cross (Meskel)

Many of the rites observed throughout the festival are said to be directly connected to the legend of Empress Helena. On the eve of Meskal, tall branches are tied together and yellow daisies, popularly called Meskal Flowers, are placed at the top. During the night those branches are gathered together in front of the compound gates and ignited – This symbolizes the actions of the Empress who, when no one would show the Holy Sepulcher, lit incense and prayed for help. Where the smoke drifted, she dug and found three crosses. To one of the three, on the True Cross of Jesus, many miracles were attributed. Like that of The Ark of the Covenant, One piece of  the True Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, is also kept  in Ethiopia at the mountainous monastery of Gishen Mariam in Wollo province.