Ethiopia Thirteen Months of Sunshine

New Year’s Day is usually marked on the first day of January, which symbolically signifies the end of a 12-month calendar.

However, Ethiopia’s calendar year is different from the rest of the region. It is 13 months long and seven-eight years behind!

The first 12 months have 30 days each and the 13th month has either five or six epagomenal days.

The Ethiopian calendar is top-heavy on biblical narrations and explanations on the difference in the number of years a rich religious heritage.

For instance, the calendar is based on the claim that Jesus Christ was born in 7BC. Other calendars state the birthday as AD1. That difference is why the calendar is seven to eight years behind.

On September 12, Ethiopians marked the end of year 2011 and ushered in 2012. The day is known as Enkukatatash, or “gift of jewels”.

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