Lalibela Among The World’s 9 best places to spend Christmas
Posted by addisethiopia on December 12, 2012
CNN has picked nine of the most Christmassy places around the world.
Lalibela was conceived as a paradise on earth. And its 11 churches, cut from living volcanic rock, are literally anchored in the earth. In scale, number, and variety of form there’s no architecture or sculpture quite like them anywhere. They’re on the global tourist route now, though barely. To Ethiopian devotees they’ve been spiritual lodestars for eight centuries, and continue to be.
Declared a “new Jerusalem” after the real Jerusalem was captured by Muslim forces in 1187 and Ethiopian Christians could no longer go there, Lalibela remains a very religious place.
Ethiopian Christmas (January 7) mass at Bet Medhane Alem – the largest monolithic church in the world – is an occasion on which hundreds of priests in white turbans, adorned with red sashes and gold scarves chant, sway, and pray, surrounded by trenches flooded with some 50,000 worshipers, for whom this is a sacred place of pilgrimage.
See also: Five real life winter wonderlands
The other 8 destinations are:
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York
Queenstown, New Zealand