Enkutatash - እንቁጣጣሽ

The New Year in Ethiopia 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 29 August 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.

Culturally, after attending church in the morning, families gather to share a traditional meal of injera and wat (stew). Later in the day, young girls don new clothes, gather flowers and present friends with a bouquet, singing New Year’s songs. According to the Ethiopian Tourism Commission, "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."

Now, budgets the way they are, no one can fault the Ethiopian Community Center for using an older graphic.  However, we will be celebrating along with them.  As of this writing, Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar has obtained a table for festivities on Sunday, Sept. 13th, 2015.  We invite you for food, fun and sunshine.  The restaurant (across the street from the Ethiopian Center), will also be open, serving our regular fare and spirits.  We will probably be serving samosas, veggie wraps, Coffee, tea and miscellaneous beverages at the Ethiopian Community Center.

And remember our Happy Hour during Sunday's Football game.

Read more about the Ethiopian New Year on our Ethiopian Culture in America board.

Editors Note: Corrections to article on Sept. 12, incorrect date of New Year Celebration changed from Saturday to Sunday.

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Published 9/11/2015

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