Happy Ethiopian New Year 2011 E.C – Enkutatash
Ethiopia has its own calendar with 13 months, and each of the 12 months has 30 days, and the13th month called Pagumen has 5 or 6 days in leap year. The new year occur on 11th September according to the Gregorian calendar, which is 1st Meskerem on the Ethiopian calendar. The Ethiopian calendar is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian calendar.
As it comes with change of the season, the New Year in Ethiopia is celebrated with new hope, and the people are making special preparations.
Ethiopian New Year comes at the time when the heavy rainfall starts to cease, and the bright sun comes to shine over the green land, which is also covered by the golden flower known in Amharic language as “Adey Abeba“.
Enkutatash means the ”gift of jewels”. The story goes back almost 3,000 years, When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit king Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her by replenishing her treasury with Inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since these early times and, as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard in every village in the green countryside.
The date traditionally marks the end of the season of heavy rains and also marks the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia after her visit to king Selomon in Jerusalem. Enkutatash is an important festival for the Ethiopians as it also symbolizes the advent of good harvest weather.