Ethiopian New Year “Enqutatash”

Ethiopian New Year “Enkutatash”

Enkutatash, which means “Gift of Jewels” is the celebration of the Ethiopian New Year.  Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar consists of 13 months, which are 12 months each with 30 days and a final month with 5 days. While this 13th month will become 6 days in every four consecutive years.

Aa result, The Julian calendar is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is used throughout most of the Western world. Therefore In 2007 Gregorian calendar, Ethiopia rang in the year 2000 and the new Ethiopian Millennium with colorful celebrations throughout the country.

Enkutatash happens to come near the end of a long rainy season. At this time the landscape is colored with bright yellow flowers which is called “Meskel Flower”, or Adey Abeba in Amharic. This will become a great reason to celebrate the new harvest. On New Year’s Eve torches of dry wood are burned in front of houses.  On New Year’s Day girls dressed in new clothes and go door-to-door singing songs while  families and friends celebrate together with large feasts.

This day also happens to coincide with the saint’s day of St. John the Baptist. At the Kostete Yohannes church, in the village of Gaynt, this religious ceremony can be seen. Celebrations are carried out for three days. Raguel Church, just outside of Addis Ababa on the Entoto Mountain, has the largest religious celebration in the country.,

 

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