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Ethiopian New Year – Enkutatash

September 9,2014

It is truly special time of the year in Ethiopia : New Year – Enkutatash. Ethiopian New Year falls on September 11 right after the end of 13 months. The last month “pagume” does only have five days except on Leap year which becomes six days then. The rest of the 12 months do have 30 days each.

Ethiopian New Year is preceded by two months ( Hamle and Nehassie- which correspond to July and August respectively) of cloudy and rainy season known locally as kiremet .

September is truly special month. The sun shines and the landscape is covered with yellow daisy like flower which is known in Ethiopia as Adey Abeba. The festivity during this time is like no other.

The festival has got a special song.

Based on comments from observers,Ethiopian New Year is not as colorful as it used to be for two reasons. Although the world, specially the west, is hailing Ethiopia as one on the fastest growing economies in Africa, the reality of the ground is that absolute majority of Ethiopians are pushed well below the poverty line. On top of that cultural conquest by Western countries is systematically demolishing the Ethiopian culture. It is possible to find Ethiopian Youth in Ethiopia who is more attached to Western New Year than Ethiopian New Year. The generation is getting confused and losing fast its sense of identity which is a manifestation of the success of Western cultural conquest in Ethiopia.

May be two or so decades down the road, if at all, things might be totally changed unless the course of cultural conquest is reversed for which there seem to be not much interest among activists in Ethiopia.

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