Meskel Square (often transliterated as Meskal or Mesqel) is a square in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is often a site for public gathering or for demonstrations and festivals, notably, the Meskel Festival from which it takes its name.
The Meskel Festival has been celebrated for over 1,600 years. The word "Meskel" means "cross" and the festival commemorates the moment when the crucifix was revealed to Empress Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great.
The festival is also seen as a moment to welcome in the spring season by displaying the distinctive yellow Meskel daisies.
Thousands gather at the Square annually on 17 Meskerem in the Ethiopian calendar (September 27 in the Gregorian calendar), with celebrations in Addis Ababa beginning in the early afternoon when a procession bearing flaming torches approaches Meskel Square from various directions. A burning pyramid (demera) is located in the center and is circled by priests in brightly colored cloaks, students, brass bands, and the army carrying around giant crosses and torches. They set the pyramid alight with their torches, and the burning pyramid is kept ablaze until dawn until the celebrations through the night have ended.