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Enkutatash, Ethiopian New Year, Welcomes 2007!

September 14, 2014

Many Ethiopians as a significant achievement and “a reminder that they have their own calendar comprising of 13 months” echo sentiments of the Ethiopian national pride of owning its New Year.

It’s 2014 in the West, harvest and autumn themes take center stage in various September holidays and celebrations, but in Ethiopia, the opposite is true. Ethiopia will be celebrating its New Year, ushering in 2007 on Meskerem 1, month 1 on the Ethiopian calendar [calendar said to be influenced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church]. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopic calendar is a unique form based on theCoptic calendar, which is said is derivative from the earlier Egyptian calendar. Seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar, according to Ahmed Zakaria, professor of history at Addis Ababa University, “the reason is that the Roman Church amended their calculation in 500 AD – adjusting it by seven or eight years”.

On Meskerem 1, marked by the end of the heavy rain period, the sun signals the arrival of a new flowering season. In time for festivities, daisy flowers burst to bloom beautifying the field with spring’s bright yellow-flowered “Bidens species”, known to Ethiopia as “Adey Abeba” [meaning in Ethiopia’s official language, Amharic, “Young Flower”]. The color yellow is symbolic of “peace, hope, and love”, notably to Ethiopia, and also other cultures around the world.


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