By Jenna Jolie
For the majority of the Western hemisphere, September marks the end of summer and the start of long, harsh winters spent behind closed windows and locked doors. This time of year, though, in Ethiopia signifies much more than just the cyclical nature of the seasons. September marks the start of a new year and new beginnings.
Ethiopia, one of the oldest states in the world and a country with its own distinctive calendar will reach its New Year as the rainy season is coming to an end. According to Ethiopia's own calendar, there are up to 13 months, each of which has only 4–5 days. The 13th month is therefore appointed as Ethiopia Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year) by Ethiopians in the hopes of promoting interethnic tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
The scenery is covered with the mass blooming of the bright yellow flower known as Ethiopian Enkutatash flower - Adey Abeba and all the bees and birds are starting to take off and land.
What is Enkutatash meaning?
The Ethiopian New Year, also described as Ethiopian Enkutatash in Amharic, is the name for the Ethiopian New Year and means "gift of jewels" in Amharic. It takes place on September 11th (or September 12 during a leap year).
The country of East Africa follows a distinctive calendar that counts its years seven to eight years later than the Gregorian calendar. Each of the 12 months of the 13-month Ethiopian calendar contains 30 days, and the 13th month, Pagumen has five days, which turn into six days every leap year.
The word Enkutatash meaning, which stems from the tale of the Queen of Sheba. The story dates back approximately 3,000 years to the Queen of Sheba of ancient Ethiopia and Yemen, who was returning from a visit to King Solomon of Israel in Jerusalem, as described in the Bible's I Kings 10 and II Chronicles 9. She had given Solomon several unusual spices and gems in addition to 120 talents of gold (4.5 tons). The Chiefs of Ethiopia greeted the Queen back with enku, or diamonds, to refill her coffers.
The answer for When is Enkutatash
Many travelers look forward to enjoying Ethiopian Enkutatash once in their lifetime to experience this unique New Year. Let’s keep reading the following paragraph to get an in-depth understanding of “When is Enkutatash?”.
Enkutatash is not solely a religious celebration, despite its religious undertones and heritage. Both believers and nonbelievers observe this time of year as a time for family and community, a time when we put our differences aside and appreciate a shared experience. In Ethiopia, the holiday celebrations run for roughly a week, with time spent mostly with family and friends. On New Year's Eve, each family burns torches to represent the sun's triumphant return after the rainy season and the start of the celebrations. The night before the New Year, the families make these torches by hand using wood and dried leaves. Then, each family lights its own flame in front of their home.
Enkutatash song is called ‘Abebayehosh’ and is performed by groups of Ethiopian girls; it is a significant custom that goes along with torch-burning. These are passed down and revered from generation to generation. The meskel flowers, which make Ethiopia's devastated land appear to be covered with gold after the rainy season, are significant for Ethiopia in addition to the delight of the first sunshine and the beginning of the excellent crop season.
The Ethiopian Enkutatash celebration is both a religious feast and a unique day for exchanging New Year's greetings. Children typically receive tiny gifts themselves and prepare a bouquet of flowers to give to their parents when they are not living in a big city. For instance, the girls go from one house to another singing, for which they are given money as a gesture of gratitude. Traditionally, the lads have sold their own paintings. However, greeting cards are still sent today, particularly in Addis Ababa. Enkutatash celebrations frequently start with church events since they are deeply rooted in Ethiopian Orthodox Church customs. Church services for the New Year begin after midnight and go on until the following day.
The party would not be complete without the coffee ceremony. The lengthy ritual of coffee serving and drinking is a significant social event that allows for the reunion of family and friends. This is also the opportunity to engage in conversation about local issues while savoring excellent coffee.
Celebration of Ethiopian Enkutatash
What to Eat during the Traditional Ethiopian Enkutatash Celebration
Food plays a crucial role in the celebration of Enkutatash, as it does in many other ethnic celebrations all around the world. A variety of cherished foods are served after approximately a half-worth day of preparation, with an animal often being purchased the evening before to be slaughtered the next morning. Here are some of the typical Ethiopian foods served during the Enkutatash celebration.
- Doro Wat is one of the most well-known African meals that is enjoyed during the Enkutatash celebration, is the equivalent of curry in Ethiopia, and is frequently served with injera. Although beef and goat are continuously served with wot, chicken—known as Doro in Amharic—reigns supreme. With Doro Wot, chicken thighs or wings are braised in a hot sauce made of butter, onions, peppers, cardamom, and berbere. Remarkably, this stew has a hard-boiled egg in the center of it. It is a tasty addition that is oftentimes provided to a guest out of respect.
- Dulet: This mixed meat could be more appealing to the uninformed if not translated and explained. It is prepared from the minced beef intestine (the lining of the animal's stomach) and lean cattle liver, and it is fried in butter with onions, peppers, cardamom, and pepper. In Ethiopia, festivities like Enkutatash serve the delicacy dulet, which is very well-liked.
- Ga’at: A hard porridge-like product called Genfo, or Marca is typically shaped into a circle with a hole in the center for dipping sauces, a mixture of avocado and red peppers, or legumes like sunflower, seeds, almonds, and flax. Arabic cuisine from Arab Aside and Ga'at are very similar.
- Arali: One of the strongest drinks in Ethiopia, also known as Katikala, has an alcohol concentration of about 45% and is often produced from grapes and anise. The Gesho plant's leaves are used to make it. Araki is essentially the Ethiopian equivalent of moonshine. Because of its powerful scent and warms Ethiopians' stomachs, after eating so much heavy food for supper earlier, it is believed to help with indigestion. They also get a great night's sleep thanks to it.
What to Eat during the Traditional Ethiopian Enkutatash Celebration
The greatest approach to experiencing Ethiopian culture is to take part in religious festivals, which are significant to Ethiopians' daily lives. So many visitors attempt to time their journey to coincide with significant holidays like Ethiopian Christmas (Timkat) or Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash). The New Year's Day event known as Enhotatash is without a doubt its centerpiece. The majority of religious celebrations in Ethiopia are associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and while they are generally observed throughout the nation, special festivities are staged in significant towns such as Meskel in Addis Ababa, Timkat in Gondar, and Christmas in Lalibela.
The dates of Islamic holidays change every year since they are observed according to the lunar calendar. Go to Ethiopia right away if you wish to experience the Ethiopian people's religious festivities. Ethiopia Immigration Services offer you a speedy and practical option to apply for a visa before you leave your home country. Contact us to have great experiences in stunning Ethiopia!