Meskel is one of the main events in the Ethiopian Orthodox and cultural calendar. It is a celebration of the finding of the True Cross by the Roman Empress Helena in the 4th century.
At Sandford School on the day before Meskel, there is a big celebration. Children and staff wear traditional clothing and take place in Meskel-themed lessons. After snack time, parents are invited to attend a performance with dances and drama. The dances are traditional Ethiopian dances performed by local and international children, which represent each different region of Ethiopia. The drama is performed in the Amharic language. Following this, we light a bonfire, as is done on Meskel Day in Meskel Square, Addis Ababa. At the top of the bonfire there is a cross representing the True Cross. Everyone stays to watch the fire burn to see which way the cross will fall, as this is said to predict the Ethiopian harvests during the rest of the year.