Sigd is one of the most photo worthy, special annual events held in Jerusalem, Israel.
Tens of thousands Ethiopian-Israelis and others gathered at the Tayelet, Armon Hanatziv promenade, for the annual Sigd Festival gathering today. Prayers went from early morning through to breaking a fast at 2:00 pm.
Crowds lined the path and filled gardens of the Tayelet with the Old City in view.
Besides the main ceremony, men were gathered around their holy books.
These cutout figures were dressed as in Temple times.
Generations of Ethiopian-Israelis come together on Sigd.
For thousands of years in Ethiopia, they dreamed of returning to Jerusalem.
For Sigd, smiles and colorful costumes were abundant.
White clothing was worn by women dressed in old traditional outfits prayering.
These women were probably all born in Ethiopia, each must have a story of how they and families arrived in Israel.
Crowds were huge. Security was especially tight.
But at least I got to see Rav Shaul and others arrive and enter, as I impatiently waited entry.
Once in the very restricted area, this was view of the main stage with the Kessim under colorful umbrellas.
The prayers were still being chanted around noon.
One man near the stage raised his hands in prayer.
President Rivlin reached up to shake hands with the Kessim as he proceeded to the stage to speak.
So many buses, from all over Israel were lined up, it was a long walk for these women to find their bus home. One was complaining in Hebrew about the distance, but I thought how much longer and difficult was the journey from Ethiopia to Israel.
Sigd was celebrated 50 days after Yom Kippur by Ethiopian Jews going to the mountains yearning to return to Zion. On the top of the mountain, the faithful would pray and fast. At the conclusion of the prayers, the Kessim would break bread known as Dabu which symbolized the bread served in the Temple. Today in Jerusalem, Israel, Sigd was remembered looking toward the Old City and site of the Temple.
Here is a short video near the end of the prayer service.
More Sigd photos on Facebook HERE