(CNN)From all corners of a nation they come, often walking for hundreds of miles barefoot: Ethiopian Orthodox Christians on a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Their destination is Lalibela in the north of Ethiopia. A town of approximately 20,000 people, Lalibela's population swells five-fold in the first days of January, pilgrims converging to celebrate Genna (or Ledet) -- Christmas according to the Ethiopian calendar.
What they're here for is to take a path from darkness into the light; through 800 years of history and enter a "New Jerusalem" -- tangible, permanent and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But most of all, they're here for God.