Happy New Year!

September 13th, 2008

Enkutatash (The Ethiopian New Year) is celebrated this weekend. It’s now 2001 in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar which is 8 years behind our Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind from September 11 until January 8. The Julian calendar has 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days (or 6 days in a leap year).

Enkutatash means “queen of jewels”. When the Queen of Sheba returned from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, the chiefs welcomed her back be replenishing her treasury with jewels. Today when Enkutatash is celebrated there is dancing and singing as the rainy season comes to an end and all of Ethiopia is green again.

People celebrate with feasts, dancing, exchanging New Year’s greetings, cards and bouquets of flowers.

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