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Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00

Ethiopian New Year

Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year)

Enkutatash is the name for the Ethiopian New Year, and means “gift of jewels” in the Amharic language. The Ethiopian New Year honors the seasonal transition from the heavy rainy season to the bright and sunny seasons. A typical New Year greeting that is often heard is "May He brings you safely from the year of Luke to the year of John…" Every believer passes through this time wishing for a safe transition to the next season. Hence, when Meskerem comes, it is the time of blissful happiness and relief. The safe transition from the rainy season to the breathtaking bright Meskerem is symbolic of the passage from an awe inspiring night into a beautiful morning.

While going in the villages, singing the traditional Enkutatash song, children, particularly in the country side, carry gifts of bunches of flower. This tradition is thought to be proactive stemming from the Queen Sheba's homecoming from Israel after her visit to King Solomon of Israel. It represents the gifts children presented her.

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