Today was the annual Meskel Festival which celebrates the "Finding of the True Cross". The festival is celebrated by burning large crosses and dancing and chanting around the bonfires. The fires started at 06:00 and the city was covered in smoke. More crosses were burned throughout the day and people were running through streets in groups and chanting.
I went to the official ceremony at Meskel Square where many people were gathered and all wearing white. I paid 200 birr to watch from the top of the building in front of the square. The ceremony was nice but pretty repetitious. I watched for a few hours and then left to walk around town.
I had to change hotels since the Haile Resort was full for tonight. After checking into the budget Michael Hotel, I had a huge lunch at the very touristy Four Sisters Restaurant.
The celebration went on into the night with loud music, more cross burnings, and everybody was drinking heavily.