Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enkutatash: Ethiopian New Year 2004

Yes, Ethiopia's New Year is on September 11 (except on leap year when it moves to Sept 12). And yes, in Ethiopia it only 2004.  Below is a little explanation on their calendar:

The Ethiopian calendar, also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A seven- to eight-year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from alternate calculations in determining the date of the Annunciation of Jesus.

The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2003, which began on September 11, 2010 AD of the Gregorian calendar. It has six epagonemal days and so the following year (2004) will begin on September 12, 2011.

Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian New Year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12.

So today, we decided to head to our local Ethiopian restaurant, The Queen of Sheba, for an Ethiopian New Years celebration with the Hardman family and several other adoptive families and local Ethiopians.  The experience was fantastic.  It was more than our usual dinner....there were traditional breads (not injera), music, discussion of traditions with children, the popcorn and coffee ceremony, baklava dessert and just a great time.  I can honestly say it was worth the money and despite being tired, it was a fantastic time.  We also got to visit with our friends from Stanford, KY, the Hannahs.  Loved catching up with them and the Gibsons.  I am glad we have the opportunity to festivities like this to help maintain pieces of Tedi's culture and heritage.

 I love this little man.
 Claire Hardman having her hands washed....traditional Ethiopian custom
 Tedi was getting ready to mash some injera, cabbage, alecha sega wot, lentils and beef
 Claire...too cute
loving his whistle toy that was gifted to him today.

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