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Celebrating Ethiopian New Year - September 11th

09/10/2009 10:14

Today marks the new year in Ethiopia, and thus the beginning of 2002. Why 2002? Because the Ethiopian calendar is more than seven years behind the Gregorian calendar used by much of the rest of the world.

How is the New Year celebrated in Ethiopia?

Depending on the weather, on New Year's Eve in Ethiopia torches of dry leaves and wood bundled in the form of tall and thick sticks are set in front of houses as the young and old sing. Early in the morning everybody goes to the church wearing traditional clothes. After church there is a family meal of enjera, a flat bread, and wat, which is stew. The girls go from house to house singing New Year's songs for money and boys sell pictures 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. 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. Find out more about African holidays by Clicking Here!