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Sep 10, 2013

Enkutatash (እንቁጣጣሽ) is the first day of the New Year in Ethiopia. It occurs on Meskerem 1 on the Ethiopian calendar, which is 11 September (or, during a leap year, 12 September) according to the Gregorian calendar. The Ethiopian calendar is based on the Coptic calendar, which was fixed to the Julian calendar in 25 BC by Emperor Augustus of Rome with a start date of August 29 J.C., thus establishing the New Year on this day. The date marks the approximate end of the "rainy season". It has also been associated traditionally with the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia following her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem in ca. 980 BC. Large celebrations are held around the country, notably at the Ragual Church on Entoto mountain. But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Modern Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated – in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers. The Ethiopian counting of years begins in the year 8 of the common era. This is because the common era follows the calculations of Dionysius, a 6th- century monk, while the non- Chalcedonian countries continued to use the calculations of Annius, a 5th-century monk, which had placed the Annunciation of Christ exactly 8 years later. For this reason, on Enkutatash in the year 2013 of the Gregorian calendar, it became 2006 in the Ethiopian calendar. Source: Wikipedia


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