There is a country that has a thirteen month calendar where noon is 6:00 p.m


The Ethiopian calendar comes from the Coptic calendar and thus from the ancient Egyptian calendar. It is a very strong tradition of this important African country. The pictures come from the celebration of Enkutataš, the New Year, which falls on September 11 in our calendar.
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The calendar that governs our lives in the West is Gregorian calendar. This name is derived from Pope Gregory XIII, who promoted it and who it came into use in 1582 to gradually replace the Julian calendar imposed by Emperor Julius Caesar in 46 BC The Gregorian calendar originated from studies conducted at the University of Salamanca to counter the problems with astronomical calculations presented by the previous calendar. But the truth is that this calendar could not replace all the others. AND one case is the calendar still used in Ethiopia today.

It is Ethiopian Orthodox Church calendar, which is also it used in neighboring Eritrea. That’s because Eritrea was part of Ethiopia until 1993, when it became independent after a bloody armed conflict that lasted more than three decades. This African country has its own rhythm, a 13-month calendar and clocks that tell time differently.

Ethiopia was never colonized, except for a brief Italian occupation between 1936 and 1941. This left many traditions intact.

Ethiopia now enters 2016. Its current calendar is based on the Coptic calendar, which in turn refers to the ancient Egyptian calendar. This historical sequence is incredible because the ancient Egyptian calendar was the first solar calendar in history, which appeared at the beginning of the third millennium BC.

The truth is that this tradition was not erased in part because of Ethiopia it was never colonized. It had only a brief Italian occupation between 1936 and 1941, and this prevented the country from being included in the divisions that European powers made of African territory, which is the subject of another, more complex analysis.

Characteristics of the Ethiopian calendar

The calendar used in Ethiopia contains 13 months instead of 12 of the Gregorian calendar that we use in Italy and Europe. Of these 13 months, 12 have 30 days and the last month is called Pagum, has 5 or 6 days, depending on whether it is a leap year. In other words, somehow all 31 we have on the calendar will fit into one month. But that is the principle of counting time in this country.

The New Year does not coincide with January 1as in most countries. The Ethiopian New Year, known as Enkutatash, is celebrated on September 11 according to the Gregorian calendar. On that day, the city experiences very cheerful and colorful celebrations. People dress up in traditional costumes, exchange gifts and gather as a family to welcome the new year. But there are also differences in the time system.

The international standard of midnight and noon is not observed in Ethiopia. In an African country, noon is 6 o’clock in the afternoon and midnight is 6 o’clock in the morning. In short, the cut-off times for each part of the day are conventions for measuring time. This whole system is deeply rooted in the country and is part of its rich culture.

Some interesting data

Ethiopia was the second oldest nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion after Armenia. It was the first kingdom to embrace Christianity. The Ethiopian Empire lasted for 705 years, from 1270 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1975, and was the direct successor of the Kingdom of Axum, which adopted Christianity as its official religion in 340, only after Armenia (which did so in 301) and half a century before the Roman realms.

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Unlike its neighbors, Ethiopia has a large part of its territory elevated with a milder climate. For example, the capital city Addis Ababafounded in 1887, is located 2500 meters above sea level. It is the fourth highest capital city in the world, surpassed only by La Paz (3,650 meters above sea level), Quito (2,800 meters above sea level) and Bogotá (2,640 meters above sea level).

Ethiopia is member of the African Union. With the loss of Eritrea, it also lost access to the sea. That’s why Ethiopia made headlines in recent days when it recognized the breakaway region of Somaliland in the north of neighboring Somalia. But the truth is that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a memorandum of understanding last Monday. This is a virtual gateway to the ocean for Ethiopia and a shift in geopolitical significance as it is a gateway to the Red Sea.


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