Pulse.ng logo

Time Travel Today, Ethiopians are celebrating the dawn of a new year — 2011

No, Ethiopia did not make a breakthrough in the time-space continuum. Check out why the country is seven years behind the rest of the world.

  • Published:
Ethiopians are celebrating the dawn of a new year — 2011 play

Ethiopians are celebrating the dawn of a new year — 2011

(The Nahmias Cipher Report)

The rest of the world might be in 2018, but today, September 11, Ethiopians are celebrating the dawn of a new year — 2011.

Enkutatash is the first day in the new year in the Ethiopian calendar. Meskerem 1, New year's day, on the Ethiopian calendar, is September 11 or, September 12 on a leap year on the popular Gregorian calendar.

play Enkutatash celebration of new year with yellow daisies (Little Ethiopia)

Enkutatash is Amharic for "gift of jewels" pointing traditionally to the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia after her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem as mentioned in the Bible. She was warmly welcomed with an abundance of jewels by her chiefs and wards.

Gregorian vs Julian

Popular era makes use of the Gregorian calendar which was adopted by most after the Reformation of Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 causing approximately 10 days to be missing from most country's history. The Gregorian calendar makes use of 12 months of 30 days. Previously the Julian calendar was used, owing to Pope Gregory's predecessor Pope Julian.

play Ethiopia new year festival (Rasta Ites)


According to Billpetro, The Ethiopian calendar "is a unique form of the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar, derived from the earlier Egyptian calendar which influenced the Julian calendar. On September 12, 2007 Ethiopia celebrated its bi-millennial, or 2,000 years from the Annunciation of Christ. Why is their calendar 7-8 years different from the West’s Gregorian calendar? In the West, the calendar was calculated around A.D. 525 by Dionysius Exiguus, a Roman monk-mathematician-astronomer who based his calculations for the birth of Christ on an erroneous date for the death of Herod the Great. In the East, an Alexandrian monk named Panodorus (or Annias) did his calculations differently back around A.D. 400 for the Egyptian calendar."

play Ethiopian New Year Celebration festivities (Handzaround)


Enkutatash is celebrated as the end of the rainy season as the beginning of harvest, made known by bright yellow daisies all around the country. Many see it as a spiritual celebration with prayers, bonfires, flowers, songs, dances, gifts and traditional food. There are many festivals that are celebrated during this period and a funny one is the Fat Man contest celebrated by the Bodi tribe.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.