Postcards

3how bout that honeymoon

3how bout that honeymoon

Legend has it that the city was formerly called Roha, the capital of the Zagwe dynasty, a vast kingdom nestled in the Wollo Mountains, north of Ethiopia. There was born a prince whose bearing and beauty made the wise presage a splendid future. His name was Lalibela and he was one of the king's younger brothers. Lalibela grew up distinguished among all by her good judgment and prudence. One day his brother, fearful of the throne, ordered his lackeys to poison him. The poison, instead of killing him, plunged the prince into a deep sleep where he apparently spoke with God and he revealed his future. He would live in exile for many years in Jerusalem, after which he would return to Roha and be crowned king. He ordered him to erect churches in his honor upon his return and explained in detail how to build them. Soon after, fearing for his life, Lalibela was forced to leave the kingdom and traveled to Jerusalem, where he lived for more than twenty years. As he had been prophesied, on his return to Ethiopia he was crowned, and shortly afterwards he began to build the churches which God had indicated to him: monumental stone-carved structures which, many claim, only with the help of angels it would have been possible to finish . Since then, the city has taken the name of Lalibela and became a sacred place, a city considered by the faithful as a second Jerusalem in the mountains of Africa.

Global population collapses in a superabundant migratory bird and illegal trapping in China - Kamp - 2015 - Conservation Biology - Wiley Online Library
Quantitative evidence from police raids suggested rampant illegal trapping of the species along its East Asian flyway in China. The population declined by 84.3-94.7% between 1980 and 2013, and the species' range contracted by 5000 km.

Christmas festivities, following the Coptic calendar, are celebrated on January 7 of each year. Pilgrims from various parts of the country suddenly flood the city in a fervent racket. Old elders who advance with difficulty, from temple to temple, fulfilling a complicated ritual of songs and genuflections. Most wear white, but there are also those who wear long robes of colors. The men wear turbans and a blanket that covers their torso and part of their legs. Women also wear white and often wear a veil on the head. They flood the steep streets of the city, tired and hungry, many of them have been walking from their villages for the sole purpose of coming to Lalibela before dying, to pray in these old churches of high walls that seem to hold heaven in its center, to celebrate in this sacred city the millennial ritual of the birth of Christ.

We arrive at what is considered the largest stone carved church in the world, the Bet Medhane Alem. Inside, the first landing is dark and you can feel the heavy and heavy fog of the pilgrims, taking off their shoes and running over. Little by little the eyes begin to grow accustomed and the light emanating from the altar outlines the rich decorations on the arches and ceiling, typical crosses of the Ethiopian rite, strange symbols that speak of old syncretisms, arcane languages, and initiatory ceremonies. In the atrium, on both sides of the altar there is a painting of the Virgin, seated on a throne, carrying Jesus and surrounded by angels and saints.