Ethiopian calendar

The Ethiopian calendar (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ዘመን አቆጣጠር; yä'Ityoṗṗya zëmän aḳoṭaṭär) or Eritrean calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical year for Christians in Eritrea and Ethiopia belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and Ethiopian-Eritrean Evangelicalism (Ethiopian-Eritrean Protestants in the diaspora usually use both the Ethiopian and Gregorian Calendars for liturgical purposes, by celebrating religious holidays twice). It is a solar calendar which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A gap of 7–8 years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation.

Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopic calendar has 12 months of 30 days plus 5 or 6 epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. A 6th epagomenal day is added every 4 years, without exception, on August 29 of the Julian calendar, 6 months before the corresponding Julian leap day. Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1900 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually September 11 (Gregorian). However, it falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year.

New Year's Day

Ethio Millennium (2141758428)
A building in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, sports bunting in the Ethiopian national colors of green, yellow and red to mark the Ethiopian Millennium on 11 September 2007.

Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian New Year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet ("Head Anniversary") in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Ethiopian & Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churchs. It occurs on September 11th in the Gregorian Calendar; except for the year preceding a leap year, when it occurs on September 12th. The Ethiopian Calendar Year 1998 Amätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on the Gregorian Calendar Year on September 11th, 2005. However, the Ethiopian Years 1992 and 1996 began on the Gregorian Dates of 'September 12th 1999' and '2003' respectively.

This date correspondence applies for the Gregorian years 1900 to 2099. The Ethiopian leap year is every four without exception, while Gregorian centurial years are only leap years when exactly divisible by 400; thus a set of corresponding dates will most often apply for a single century. As the Gregorian year 2000 is a leap year, the current correspondence lasts two centuries instead.
The start of the Ethiopian year (Feast of El-Nayrouz) falls on August 29th or 30th (in the year just before the Julian leap year). This date corresponds to the Old-Style Julian Calendar; therefore, the start of the year has been transferred forward in the currently used Gregorian Calendar to September 11th or 12th (in the year just before the Julian leap year). This deviation between the Julian and the Gregorian Calendar will increase with the passing of the time. You can observe the real start date in the future centuries in a Gregorian to Ethiopian Date Converter.

Eras

To indicate the year, Ethiopians and followers of the Eritrean churches today use the Incarnation Era, which dates from the Annunciation or Incarnation of Jesus on March 25, AD 9 (Julian), as calculated by Annianus of Alexandria c. 400; thus its first civil year began 7 months earlier on August 29, AD 8. Meanwhile, Europeans eventually adopted the calculations made by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525 instead, which placed the Annunciation 8 years earlier than had Annianus. This causes the Ethiopian year number to be 8 years less than the Gregorian year number from January 1 until September 10 or 11, then 7 years less for the remainder of the Gregorian year.

In the past, a number of other eras for numbering years were also widely used in Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Aksum.

Era of Martyrs

The most important era – once widely used by the Eastern Christianity, and still used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – was the Era of Martyrs, also known as the Diocletian Era, or the era of Diocletian and the Martyrs, whose first year began on August 29, 284.

Respective to the Gregorian and Julian New Year's Days, 3​12 to 4 months later, the difference between the Era of Martyrs and the Anni Domini is 285 years (285= 15×19). This is because in AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus decided to add 15 Metonic cycles to the existing 13 Metonic cycles of the Diocletian Era (15×19 + 13×19 = 532) to obtain an entire 532 year medieval Easter cycle, whose first cycle ended with the year Era of Martyrs 247 (= 13×19) equal to year DXXXI. It is also because 532 is the product of the Metonic cycle of 19 years and the solar cycle of 28 years.

Anno Mundi according to Panodoros

Around AD 400, an Alexandrine monk called Panodoros fixed the Alexandrian Era (Anno Mundi = in the year of the world), the date of creation, on 29 August 5493 BC. After the 6th century AD, the era was used by Egyptian and Ethiopian chronologists. The twelfth 532 year-cycle of this era began on 29 August AD 360, and so 4×19 years after the Era of Martyrs.

Anno Mundi according to Anianos

Bishop Anianos preferred the Annunciation style as New Year's Day, 25 March (see above). Thus he shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March 5492 BC. In the Ethiopian calendar this was equivalent to 15 Magabit 5501 B.C. (E.C.).[1] The Anno Mundi era remained in usage until the late 19th century.[2]

Leap year cycle

The 4 year leap-year cycle is associated with the four Evangelists: the first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named the John-year, followed by the Matthew-year, and then the Mark-year. The year with the 6th epagomenal day is traditionally designated as the Luke-year.

There are no exceptions to the 4 year leap-year cycle, like the Julian calendar but unlike the Gregorian calendar.

Months

Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya
(with Amharic suffixes in parentheses)
Coptic Julian
(Old Calendar)
Start Date
Gregorian
Start Date
[From March 1900 to February 2100]
Gregorian Start Date
in Year after Ethiopian Leap Day
Mäskäräm (መስከረም) Tut (Thout) August 29 September 11 September 12
Ṭəqəmt(i) (ጥቅምት) Babah (Paopi) September 28 October 11 October 12
Ḫədar (ኅዳር) Hatur (Hathor) October 28 November 10 November 11
Taḫśaś ( ታኅሣሥ) Kiyahk (Koiak) November 27 December 10 December 11
Ṭərr(i) (ጥር) Tubah (Tobi) December 27 January 9 January 10
Yäkatit (Tn. Läkatit) (የካቲት) Amshir (Meshir) January 26 February 8 February 9
Mägabit (መጋቢት) Baramhat (Paremhat) February 25 March 10 March 10
Miyazya (ሚያዝያ) Baramundah (Parmouti) March 27 April 9 April 9
Gənbo (t) (ግንቦት) Bashans (Pashons) April 26 May 9 May 9
Säne (ሰኔ) Ba'unah (Paoni) May 26 June 8 June 8
Ḥamle (ሐምሌ) Abib (Epip) June 25 July 8 July 8
Nähase (ነሐሴ) Misra (Mesori) July 25 August 7 August 7
Ṗagʷəmen/Ṗagume (ጳጐሜን/ጳጉሜ) Nasi (Pi Kogi Enavot) August 24 September 6 September 6

These dates are valid only from March 1900 to February 2100. This is because 1900 and 2100 are not leap years in the Gregorian calendar, while they are still leap years in the Ethiopian calendar, meaning dates before 1900 and after 2100 will be offset.

References

  1. ^ "Ring in the New". 10 September 2004. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Walters Ms. W.850, Ethiopian Gospels". Retrieved 8 February 2017. Church of Madhane Alam in Majate, 1892–1893, known from the endnote on fol. 95r, which gives a record in Amharic of a land grant to the church of Mǝğäte Mädḫane ‛Aläm, enacted in the Year of Matthew, 7385 Anno Mundi (= 1885 EC = 1892–1893 AD)

Sources

  • "The Ethiopian Calendar", Appendix IV, C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford, The Prester John of the Indies (Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1961).
  • Ginzel, Friedrich Karl, "Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie", Leipzig, 3 vol., 1906–1914

External links

Buhe

Buhe (Ge'ez: ቡሄ) is a holiday in Ethiopia held on August 19 (according to the Gregorian Calendar; Nähase 13 Ethiopian calendar). On this date, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor (Debre Tabor Ge'ez: ደብረ ታቦር). People of the neighborhood tie a bundle of sticks together to make a chibo, and set it on fire while singing songs. The main song is called "Hoya Hoye" with one singer singing while the others follow in a rhythmic way. It involves young boys singing songs of praise outside of people's homes, in exchange for fresh dough (itself called buhe).

Christian era (disambiguation)

Christian era may refer to

the time since Christianisation in any given regional context.

Early Christianity

decline of Greco-Roman paganism

Ancient Roman Christianity

Christianization of the Germanic peoples

Christianization of the Slavs

in Christian eschatology, the age of the Church, between the age of Law and the Millennial age, see Dispensation (period)

calendar eras: Calendar era#Christian era

the Dionysian era or Common Era used in Western Christianity

Etos Kosmou (Greek Orthodoxy)

Era of the Martyrs (Diocletian era)

Incarnation Era, see Ethiopian calendar

Armenian calendar era (AD 552, year of the Monophysite schism)

Coptic calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III (Decree of Canopus, in 238 BC) which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar (although it was unsynchronized with the newly introduced Julian calendar which had erroneously been intercalating leap days every third year due to a misinterpration of the leap year rule so as to apply inclusive counting). To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

Enkutatash

Enkutatash (Ethiopic: እንቁጣጣሽ) is the first day of the New Year in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 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.

This holiday is based on the Ethiopian 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.

Large celebrations are held around the country, notably at the Ragual Church on Entoto mountain.According to InCultureParent, "after attending church in the morning, families gather to share a traditional meal of injera (flat bread) and wat (stew). Later in the day, young girls donning new clothes, gather daisies 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."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 2016 of the Gregorian calendar, it became 2009 in the Ethiopian calendar.

Ethiopian Person of the Year

Ethiopian Person of the Year is an annual issue of the Ethiopian news portal Jimma Times, formerly Yeroo private newspaper, which names and profiles person(s) who was (were) the most influential on events and had the most impact on Ethiopian people during the previous Ethiopian calendar year.

Gabra Manfas Qeddus

Gebre Menfes Kidus (Amharic: ገብረ መንፈስ ቅዱስ; also familiarly called Abo) was an Ethiopian Christian saint, and the founder of the monastery of Zuqualla. The fifth day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to this saint.Manuscripts differ in relating the story of the life of Gebre Menfes Kidus and the miracles he performed. Unless otherwise stated, the account below is pieced together from various legends about his life.

Intercalary month (Egypt)

The intercalary month or epagomenal days of the Egyptian, Coptic, and Ethiopian calendars are a period of five days in common years and six days in leap years in addition to those calendars' 12 standard months, sometimes reckoned as their thirteenth month. They originated as a periodic measure to ensure that the heliacal rising of Sirius would occur in the 12th month of the Egyptian lunar calendar but became a regular feature of the civil calendar and its descendants. Egyptian and Ethiopian leap days occur in the year preceding Gregorian leap years.

Madawalabu University

Madda Walabu University, one of the public universities in Ethiopia, was established in 2006 (1999 Ethiopian Calendar). The university is located in Bale Zone, in the town of Robe, about 430 km away from the capital city, Addis Ababa. The university has 42 undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Massacre of the Sixty

The Massacre of the Sixty, or Black Saturday (Amharic: ጥቁሩ ቅዳሜ, tikuru kidami), took place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on the morning of 23 November 1974 (Ethiopian calendar: 14 Hidar 1967), when 60 imprisoned former government officials were executed by the Derg at Kerchele Prison (commonly called Alem Bekagn - "Farewell to the World").

Ethiopia's revolution started about ten weeks before the massacre. Before this point, Derg was able to instill hope among the people, that the revolution could remain bloodless. Epitomised by the slogan "Ityopiya tikdem, yala mimin dem” — “Let Ethiopia progress, without any bloodshed”.The massacre presaged the Red Terror and Ethiopian Civil War that would follow in years after.

Menen Asfaw

Empress Menen Asfaw (Baptismal name Walatta Giyorgis) (26 Magabit 1881 Ethiopian Calendar, 3 April 1889 Gregorian Calendar – 15 February 1962) was the Empress consort of the Ethiopian Empire. She was the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Merid Wolde Aregay

Merid Wolde Aregay (1934/35 - 2008) was an Ethiopian historian and a scholar of Ethiopian studies. Aregay was born in Adwa in 1927 by the Ethiopian calendar. He earned his BA in 1956 from what was called University College of Addis Ababa, now Addis Ababa University. From there, he was sent to earn an MA in education from Harvard University (1957), then an MA in history from the University of Chicago (1959). He completed his doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (1971).

He learned a variety of languages, both Ethiopian and foreign: "beside Amharic (Tigriñña, Gə’əz, some Oromo) and several European languages beside English (Italian, French, Portuguese)". With his knowledge of Portuguese, he was the pre-eminent scholar on the history of the Portuguese Catholic influence and interaction in Ethiopian history.

His writings covered a variety of topics, regions, and periods of Ethiopian history. He is also remembered for his positive interactions with his many students, as he spent so much time in his office that it was his “second home”.

Meskel

Meskel (Ge'ez: መስቀል, mäsqäl) is an annual religious holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox and Eritrean Orthodox churches, which commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by the Roman Empress Helena (Saint Helena) in the fourth century. Meskel occurs on the 17 Meskerem in the Ethiopian calendar (September 27, Gregorian calendar, or on 28 September in leap years). "Meskel" (or "Meskal" or "Mesqel", there are various ways to transliterate from Ge'ez to Latin script) is Ge'ez for "cross".

The festival is known as Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in other Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant churches. The churches that follow the Gregorian calendar celebrate the feast yearly on September 14.

The feast is held in Meskel Square, named after the festival, in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Religious and civil leaders preside over the celebration,and public figures give speeches and reference biblical themes and stories. Many Ethiopians who live in cities return to their villages to celebrate the national event. When it gets darker, the Demera is burned.

Mesori

Mesori (Coptic: Ⲙⲉⲥⲱⲣⲓ, Mesōri) is the twelfth month of the Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It is identical to Nahase (Amharic: ነሐሴ, Nähase) in the Ethiopian calendar.

Taitu Hotel

The Itegue Taitu Hotel is a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Taitu Hotel was built in 1905 or 1906 (1898 in the Ethiopian calendar) in the middle of the city (Piazza), is the first hotel in Ethiopia. Taitu Betul (1851 – 1918), an Ethiopian Empress and the wife of Emperor Menelik II, established this hotel to provide foreign guests a place to rest and dine.On January 11, 2015 a major fire broke out which caused damage on the historic Tayitu Hotel in Addis Ababa. The hotel Liberty in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop novel is acually Taitu Hotel

Tekle Haymanot

Tekle Haymanot or Takla Haymanot (Ge'ez ተክለ ሃይማኖት takla hāymānōt, modern tekle hāymānōt, "Plant of Faith"; known in the Coptic Church as Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia) (c. 1215 – c. 1313) was an Ethiopian monk who founded a major monastery in his native province of Shewa. He is significant for being the only Ethiopian saint popular both amongst Ethiopians and outside that country. Tekle Haymanot "is the only Ethiopian saint celebrated officially in foreign churches such as Rome and Egypt." His feast day is August 17, and the 24th day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to Tekle Haymanot.

Timkat

Timkat (Amharic: ጥምቀት T’imik’et, literally "Baptism"; also spelled Timqat) is the Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of Epiphany. It is celebrated on January 19th (or 20th in a leap year), corresponding to the 10th day of Terr in the Ethiopian calendar.

Timkat celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. This festival is best known for its ritual reenactment of baptism (similar to such reenactments performed by numerous Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land when they visit the Jordan).

During the ceremonies of Timkat, the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, which is present on every Ethiopian altar (somewhat like the Western altar stone), is reverently wrapped in rich cloth and borne in procession on the head of the priest. The Tabot, which is otherwise rarely seen by the laity, represents the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah when he came to the Jordan for baptism. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated near a stream or pool early in the morning (around 2 a.m.). Then the nearby body of water is blessed towards dawn and sprinkled on the participants, some of whom enter the water and immerse themselves, symbolically renewing their baptismal vows. But the festival does not end there; Donald N. Levine describes a typical celebration of the early 1960s:

By noon on Timqat Day a large crowd has assembled at the ritual site, those who went home for a little sleep having returned, and the holy ark is escorted back to its church in colorful procession and festivities. The clergy, bearing robes and umbrellas of many hues, perform rollicking dances and songs; the elders march solemnly with their weapons, attended by middle-ages men singing a long-drawn, low-pitched haaa hooo; and the children run about with sticks and games. Dressed up in their finest, the women chatter excitedly on their one real day of freedom in the year. The young braves leap up and down in spirited dances, tirelessly repeating rhythmic songs. When the holy ark has been safely restored to its dwelling-place, everyone goes home for feasting.

Wolaytta language

Wolaytta is a North Omotic language of the Ometo group spoken in the Wolayita Zone and some other parts of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia. It is the native language of the Welayta people. The estimates of the population vary greatly because it is not agreed where the boundaries of the language are.

There are conflicting claims about how widely Wolaytta is spoken. The Ethnologue identifies one smaller dialect region: Zala. Some hold that Melo, Oyda, and Gamo-Gofa-Dawro are also dialects, but most authorities, including Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 now list these as separate languages. The different communities of speakers also recognize them as separate languages. A variety called Laha is said to be 'close' to Wolaytta in Hayward (1990) but listed as a distinct language by Blench; however, it is not included in Ethnologue.

Wolaytta has existed in written form since the 1940s, when the Sudan Interior Mission first devised a system for writing it. The writing system was later revised by a team led by Dr. Bruce Adams. They finished the New Testament in 1981 and the entire Bible in 2002. It was one of the first languages the Derg selected for their literacy campaign (1979–1991), before any other southern languages. Welaytta pride in their written language led to a fiercely hostile response in 1998 when the Ethiopian government distributed textbooks written in Wegagoda – an artificial language based on amalgamating Wolaytta with several closely related languages. As a result the textbooks in Wegagoda were withdrawn and teachers returned to ones in Wolaytta.In speaking their language, the Wolaytta people use many proverbs. A large collection of them, in Ethiopian script, was published in 1987 (Ethiopian calendar) by the Academy of Ethiopian Languages. Fikre Alemayehu's 2012 MA thesis from Addis Ababa University provides an analysis of Wolaytta proverbs and their functions.

Yekatit 12 monument

The Yekatit 12 is a monument in Addis Ababa commemorating victims of Italian reprisals following an attempt to kill the Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, marchese di Neghelli, Viceroy of Italian East Africa, on 19 February 1937, or Yekatit 12 in the Ethiopian calendar. It is located in the centre of Sidist Kilo (Amharic, "Six Kilometre") Square, also called "Yekatit 12 square".

Yelet Giorgis Church, Bulga

Yelet Giorgis Church is an Ethiopian Orthodox church in Yelet, Bulga, Ethiopia.

The church is dedicated to Saint George, and has over 2,500 parishioners. The church body has been in existence since the 17th century.

The first edifice, a traditional circular thatch roof church, burnt down in 1950. A modern, iron roof church was built in its place by Dejazmach Kidane Woldemedhin and dedicated in 1956. This building was erected on the same church site and served its community for a further 51 years until a more modern, 8-sided stone building was built in its place during the years 2004–2007. The new church was dedicated on 23rd Tikmt 2000 (Ethiopian calendar), which corresponds to 3 November 2007 in the Gregorian calendar.

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