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Ethiopian New Year eve celebrated at Sheger Park in Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian New Year falls on the 11th of September except during leap year when it is celebrated on September 12. Ethiopian Calendar has thirteen months, the last month being the shortest, Pagume, which has only five days (six during leap year.)

September 10, 2020

Ethiopian New Year eve is celebrated across the country on Thursday. The celebration was particularly colorful in the capital Addis Ababa where the Ethiopian government officially celebrated it in the newly inaugurated Sheger Friendship Park – a multi-billion birr beautifying project financed mainly through mobilizing the business community in the country and with support from the Chinese government.  

“We are on the eve of receiving the new year’s hope. What is ahead of us is a clean open book of a new era on which nothing is written yet. Happy New year,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in his new year’s message. 

He also seized the opportunity to highlight a political message. The 2012 Ethiopian year, he said,  was full of happiness and sorrow, honor, pride, and shame. Ethiopia’s challengers, as he described them in what seems to be an effort to avoid the word enemy, have thrown all the rocks (at Ethiopia) they have. 

“Ethiopian heroes have sacrificed everything they could…and that Ethiopia survived all the challenges,” he added. 

During the ending of the Ethiopian year, his government was widely criticized for failing to enforce the rule of law in the country – especially in the Oromo region of Ethiopia where more than 300 people were massacred in a span of six months by radical ethnic Oromo nationalists. Thousands were also displaced and properties worth billions of Ethiopian birr destroyed.

He also talked about items from his checklist of “success stories.” Completion of the first phase of filling of the renaissance dam, “launch of Ethiopia’s first satellite,” the response to the coronavirus pandemic (which caused the postponement of the sixth general election among other actions), and the completion of Unity Park and Sheger Parks in the capital Addis Ababa is cited among success stories. 

A Chinese construction company, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), undertook the first phase of the Sheger project, which is 56 kilometers of a river system in the capital that stretches from Entoto Mountain in the northern part of the city to Akakai sub-city in the southern part of the country. 

It was inaugurated on the eve of the Ethiopian New Year in the presence of President Shalework Zewdie, Abiy Ahmed himself, and other senior government officials. 

President Sahlework Zewdie expressed her hope that in the new year violence and conflict will give way for rationality and “listening to one another.”

She also called upon Ethiopians in the country and abroad to discharge the responsibility to help Ethiopian in every possible way. 

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