Ethiopia is celebrating its New Year today which is the first day of Meskerem, an Ethiopian Orthodox calendar which falls on September 12 of the Gregorian calendar commonly used worldwide.
Meskerem is nearly seven years behind the Gregorian calendar.
The citizens ushered in New Year with celebrations in the capital, Addis Ababa and other cities and towns across the Horn of Africa country.
The last year edition was a special one given that it coincided with the signing of a peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Leaders of the two countries reopened borders on the occasion.
Social media is also buzzing with the people sending congratulatory messages.
For this year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde were in attendance for a Wednesday evening event commemorating the day. Also present at the event at the National palace was president of the Somali Regional State, Mustafa Omer.
Happening now: New Year Eve celebration and the culmination of the 6 days of MEDEMER,
at the National Palace.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) September 11, 2019
Happy #Ethiopia’s New Year to all!
Family is more than blood! “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
Challenge yourself to do something special in the New Year! Love can help you achieve this! Make a difference. Wishing you lots of luck! pic.twitter.com/5WZZKFF7TR
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) September 11, 2019
— UNICEF Ethiopia (@UNICEFEthiopia) September 11, 2019
Ethiopian Ambassador to the USA, Fitsum Arega also congratulate the citizens challenging them to make a different by doing something special.
The country – the only one in Africa to fend off colonialism, follows a calendar similar to the ancient Julian calendar. Ethiopia operates with the Coptic Calender, reason for being behind the world in years.
This is despite most parts of the world having adopted the Gregorian calendar, which is made up of 365 days in a year and 366 days in a leap year.
According to a report by Face2Face Africa, “The difference in year numbering is believed to be because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church disagrees with the Roman Catholic Church about when Christ was born.
Thus, in contrast to the Gregorian calendar, which is factored in the calculation of the year in which Jesus was born, the Ethiopian Church adopted a calendar tied to the calculation of the Annunciation (Jesus’s conception, not birth) arrived at by Egyptian monk-historian Annianus of Alexandria,” the report added.