Imperial Majesty/Addis Amet (new year)/Adwa/Ark
of the Covenant
/Genna (Christmas)/ Maqdala/Timqat
Report/Millennium Pictures from Brixton event/Millennium
Pictures from Trafalgar Square
The Battle of Adwa (The Bell of Torment Stained
in Blood) from Haile Girma
from Victory Day - Miyazya 27 2001 / May 5th 2009
Addis Amet = Happy New Year
about the Millennium Celebrations
more on Enkutatash here
and dates in Ithiopia
Enkutatash or Ithiopian (Ethiopian) New Year is celebrated on September 11th
according to the Western or Gregorian calendar. Ithiopia still follows
the Orthodox Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days
and a 13th month, Pagume, of five or six days, depending on whether or not it
is a leap year. The Ithiopian calendar is seven years and eight months
behind the Gregorian calendar, so September 2012 is
Meskerem 2005 in Ithiopia.
The way Ithiopians measure time is also different from the West.
The clock starts at 6am western time and runs until 6pm. Therefore
8o'clock in western time would be 2o'clock Ithiopian time. Because
Ithiopia is close to the Equator the sun rises at around 00.30
Ithiopian time and sets at around 12.45 in the evening (6.45 western
equivalent) all year round. Ithiopia is 3 hours ahead of GMT
(Greenwich Mean Time).
The years run in a four year cycle bearing the names of the Gospels
with the year of John or Yohannes being the leap year.
full calendar click here
Meskerem : 11th September
Tikimt : 11th October
Hidar : 10th November
Tahsas : 10th December
Tir : 9th January
Yakatit : 8th February
Maggabit : 10th March
Miyazya : 9th April
Ginbot : 9th May
Sene : 8th June
Hamle : 8th July
Nehasa : 7th August
Pagume : 7th September
an important festival in the lives of Ithiopians. After three months of heavy rains
the sun comes out creating a beautiful clear fresh atmosphere. The
highland fields turn to gold as the Meskal daisies burst into flower.
When Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, returned to Ithiopia after her famous
visit to King Solomon, her chiefs welcomed her forward by giving her
"enku" or jewels. Enkutatash which
means "gift of jewels"' has been celebrated ever since in
spring. Meskerem is seen as a month of transition
from the old year to the new. It is a time to express hopes and dreams
for the future.
Orthodox Enkutatash Celebrations
The largest religious celebration is in the
Kostete Yohannes church in the city of Gaynt in the Gondar Region. For
3 days the sounds of psalms, sermons, prayers and hymns can be heard as
colourful processions welcome the New Year. There is a large
celebration nearer to Addis Abeba, the capital, at the Ragual Church
on Entoto mountain.
On New Year's Eve, torches of dry leaves and wood bundled in
the form of tall and thick sticks are also set on fire in front of
houses as the young and old sing. Early in the morning everybody
goes to Church wearing traditional Ethiopian clothing. After Church
there is a family meal of Injera (flat bread) and Wat (stew). The
girls go from house to house singing New Year songs for money and
the boys sell pictures that they have drawn. In the evening families
go to visit their friends and drink tella the traditional Ethiopian
beer. While the elders discuss their hopes for the New Year the
children go and spend the money they have earned.
In more recent times it has also become usual for well-to-do city dwellers to send each
other New Year greetings cards instead of the more
traditional bunches of flowers.