Timkat in Lalibela Ethiopia

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An elderly priest hurries past Bet Giyorgis rock-cut church in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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The 800-year-old solid gold Ethiopian Lalibela cross is cautiously taken outside from its sanctuary despite recent attempts to steal it. The small circular decorations on the perimeter of the cross represent the twelve apostles.
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A priest reads bible passages inside a prayer nook near Bet Giyorgis church in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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Many Ethiopians carry small hand-made illustrated bibles with them to read during the day.
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Two priests study and relax near Bet Giyorgis church in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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Some prayer nooks around Lalibela, Ethiopia contain human remains of priests who died while studying.
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Priests stand near the entrance of Bet Giyorgis church prior to the annual Lalibela Timkat festival in Ethiopia.
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Priests and villagers gather on grassy field to commemorate the beginning of the annual Lalibela Timkat festival in Ethiopia.
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An urn used for burning Frankincense in Lalibela, Ethiopia is decorated with a cross and several bells.
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Two priests from Lalibela, Ethiopia balance on their head stone replicas of the Ten Commandments wrapped in fabric. Known as tabots, all Ethiopian churches contain a similar set of replicas.
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A group of nuns and priests march in a procession during the Lalibela Timkat festival in Ethiopia.
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Two young Ethiopian girls chant prayers while marching in the Lalibela procession.
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A young boy from Lalibela, Ethiopia poses for a portrait under his umbrella.
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A group of priests perform a ceremony and chant in unison next to several large drums on the outskirts of Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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After the Lalibela, Ethiopia Timkat procession, the heavy tabot stones are taken to a nearby tent for safekeeping during the night.
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Villagers from Lalibela, Ethiopia hold a vigil and sleep outside the tents holding the sacred tabot stones.
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Sunset falls over the hills surrounding Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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Priests recite passages from a large bible at dawn near Lalibela, Ethiopia after a night of guarding and praying near the holy tabot stones.
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A group of villagers from Lalibela, Ethiopia listen to early morning prayers.
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A young boy squeezes through an opening in tent holding tabot stones on the outskirts of Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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A young girl stands next to her grandmother while listening to early morning prayers in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
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Two young priests watch the activities during the closing ceremonies of the annual Lalibela Timkat festival in Ethiopia.
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A blessing of holy water from a remote spring concludes the annual Lalibela Timkat festival in Ethiopia.
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