Mesqel, feels like a continuation of the celebration of Enkutatash, making September a month of festivities. Unlike Enkutatash, there is an outdoor celebration on a smallscale in everyone’s backyard as well as a grand damera celebration, which involves a Christmas tree-looking thing, made of dried sticks decorated by green adey abeba, by this time very abundant. This is accompanied by a parade of choirs from different churches, especially at Mesqel Square. The damera’s history is connected to Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. While searching for the original cross of Jesus, she prayed for a sign and got one from a smoking, upright bundle of sticks.
The direction that the last stick standing fell would be the direction where the true cross could be found. A piece of the true cross was then brought to Gishen Mariam Church in Wolo, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. Therefore, in memory of Empress Helena, on theEve of September 27 (the actual day the cross was found) people make their own damera and sing and chant around it. If in Addis Abeba, Mesqel Square is the place to be.