or...Happy New Year! Today, September 11, 2005, is New Year's Day in Ethiopia. Although it is 2012 here in the U.S., it is the start of the year 2005 in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months, each consisting of 30 days. There is also a 13th month that consists of 5 days (or 6 days in a leap year). The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian/western calendar from January to September, and 7 years behind from September 11 through January 8. Therefore, beginning today, there will be a 7-year gap as it is 2012 here and 2005 in ET.
This New Year has been celebrated since early times. It marks the ending of the Horn of Africa's long, rainy season. According to tradition, children get new clothing and hand out freshly picked flowers. Dancing and singing can be heard in villages along the countryside and daisies bloom in the fields.
Here is a youtube clip of an Ethiopian New Year's celebration from last year (2004/2011):
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