10 unexpected facts about Ethiopia

ethiopia landscape seimen mountain

Many facts about Ethiopia seems to have been hidden away from the world for a long time due to various reasons. One of these is the history of drought and famine the country had in the 80s. This has destroyed the image of Ethiopia and facts about Ethiopia were covered with this news.

Ethiopia, in fact, is one of the oldest Africa’s oldest civilization, that has its own system and alphabet. With more than 2 millennium’s history, the country persists until now with a diverse nation and with diverse culture.

Ethiopia has been represented through the ancient Axum that was a powerful nation in the horn of Africa. The Axum’s domination on the red sea was obvious and written on many occasions and historic artifacts.

Ethiopia became world news in 1896 after defeating Italy, refusing a colonial rule. The fascist country returned in 1935, and in the battle of Adwa, it was defeated and returned home. Within the occupation four years period the Italian government ad put its influence on the country. The buildings and some roads and even Italian names still exist in the country.

The present territory of Ethiopia was consolidated during the 19th and 20th centuries as European powers invaded Ethiopia’s historical domain. Since then the country passed through various political and economic situations. King Haile Selassie’s monarchy era in the 50s was replaced by a socialist government in a coup in 1974. Recently a party system has been seen for the last 25 years.

 Here are 10 facts about Ethiopia that are interesting.

1. Thirteen Months – facts about Ethiopia

Unlike the rest of the world, Ethiopia has 13 months to a year. The country seems to have stuck to its own calendar system for a very long time. Not only the calendar but also the timing is different from the rest of the world. Only a few counties have their own calendar system. The Hebrew, the arabas, the Chinese, the Koreans. These use a mixed system with the rest of the world or they kept their calendar as a souvenir. Ethiopia, however, uses the calendar together with the Gregorian calendar.

First, The Ethiopia calendar has 8 years difference with the Gregorian calendar. Second. Every month has 30 days and the 13 months will be a five- or six-days leap year.

Since the country is located on the equator there is no much disparity between the length of the day and the night. The few minutes difference is not that noticeable. Therefore, Ethiopian time starts at 1 in the morning, not at 7, and ends at 12 and the evening begins at 1 and ends at 12 in the morning. There are not days of light saving.

The fists of facts about Ethiopia is it has 13 months and some call it 13 months of sunshine. 

Facts about Ethiopia #1- Ethiopia has 13 months.

2. Ethiopia and ancient religions

Ethiopia has been a name in many historic and religious books including the bible, the Koran, Homer’s Odyssey. The name Ethiopia has been in the bible more than 45 times and other times mentioned as a country in the south of Egypt.

It is a story that Mohamed the prophet of Islam first sent his daughter and accomplices to Ethiopia, running from persecution. The Christian country of Ethiopia accepted them and sheltered them and some have changed to Christianity while locals also changed to Islam. Mohmed is said to have ordered his followers not to attach Ethiopia if they didn’t attack them first.

 Facts about Ethiopia #2 – Ethiopia in religious books

ethiopia landscape seimen mountain

3. The contradictory Scenic Landscape

The landscape of Ethiopia seems to contradict each other on every few kilometers the altitude increases and decreases. A few kilometers from the highest altitudes in the world lays the lowest point in Afar, the Danakil Depression. The northern mountains, as high as 2600 and much more above sea level became the lowest point in Afar up to 125 meters below sea level.

Danakil Depression is a place many archeological findings in Ethiopia were found. The colorful landscape due to underground chemicals on the surface makes the place dreamy.

Besides this, the Erta Ale active volcano, on the surface is one of the most attractive landscapes in the world.

The rift valley, the Blue Nile gorge, the Seimen mountains, all make the place a land of landscapes.

Facts about Ethiopia #3- The landscapes change so fast.

how to make ethiopian coffee at home

4.  Discovery of Coffee- Facts About Ethiopia

Ethiopian coffee is a household name in the country. It has gained popularity even in the west and in the Arab world. The coffee arabica of Ethiopia has a unique position in the world of coffee. Many brands prefer it for its taste and color.

It is considered Ethiopia could be the first person to have discorded the use of coffee and have used it. The oral story begins with a farmer called Kaldi who was born in a Kaffa region. Coffee is thought to have derived from the place Kaffa. Kaldi saw one day that the goats that consumed the coffee tree became hyper and he could not handle them. Curiosity led him to discover the overexcited effect of the plant.

Related: How to Make Ethiopian coffee at home.

Since then the world shared this drink and today coffee is considered only the second valuable commodity after petroleum.  And 4 out of 5 Americans consume coffee daily.

Ethiopian coffee is a way of life in the country. Many people use it to socialize and create a social bond.  

Facts about Ethiopia #4- Ethiopia probably gave coffee to the world

facts about Ethiopia

5. Birth of Rastafarianism

Many Rastafarians think that religion begins in Jamaica and with the inspiration of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie who inspired the religion. Ras- Tafari is translated as head or a leader Terferi, that is the first name of Haile Selassie.

The Rastafarian movement believes Haile Selassie as the incarnation of God. They also believe Ethiopia to be a promised land. They present the religious background and the reason why Ethiopia has not colonized a sign the country is sacred land.

The country also inspired many black Americans and black Africans to see a better future beyond colonialism. The country played a great role at the beginning of the African Union.

The flag of Ethiopia is a symbol for the Rastafarians and Africans, and it is a sign of freedom and the future.

Facts about Ethiopia #5 – Ethiopia is a reason for Rastafarianism.

6. Origin of Mankind

A land of Lucy and other archeological hominid finds, Ethiopia is considered one of the beginning places for humankind. Lucy, an almost completed skeleton found in Afar was found in 1972 and is thought to be 3.2 million years old.  

Facts about Ethiopia #6 Ethiopia is an origin of humankind.

7. A place of the True Cross

Religion has a big place in the lives of Ethiopia. Orthodox Christianity has an oral history that seems fantasy for some. The history of the church is immense and has a lot of unverified but amazing claims. The tomb of Adam is thought to be in Lalibela. The legend says that the true cross that Christ was crucified on, was found by St. Helena—the mother of Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity—in the 4th century. The relic of that cross was later given to Ethiopia’s kings to protect Coptic Christians in their country.

Related: When to be in Ethiopia to celebrate Meskel?

Ethiopia celebrates this day once a year, on September 26. The celebration is called Meskel, and for more than 1500 years the country celebrated the arrival of the True Cross in Ethiopia.

Facts about Ethiopia # 7 – a place for the true cross

8. The Ark of Covenant

The ark of the covenant that was given to Moses is thought to be in Ethiopia somewhere hidden away from the public. The ark of the convent is a stone that has the ten commandments that God gave to Moses.

The orthodox church claims to have the ark of the covenant.

Facts about Ethiopia #8- the arc of the covenant could be in Ethiopia.

9. Never been Colonized

Ethiopia is one of the two African countries to never be colonized. This is news for many readers but this is true and the second one is Liberia and was not colonized due to a prevalent disease in the country.  

The Italian colonization power was defeated at the end of the 19th century (in the 1880s), in the war of Adwa and the country remained free for long. The country then fell under the Italian invasion for four years in the 1940s, from 1936- 1941. At the time the whole world ignored the call of the Ethiopians, and the invasion of Italy, that was against the international rule, then King Haile Selassie left the county to find assistance to defeat the power of Italy.  

British and France and other countries supported Italy. Later, the king returned and Italy was defeated. The day is celebrated once a year in the country.

Facts about Ethiopia #9 – Ethiopia has never been colonized.

10. Abebe Bikila

Ethiopian distance runner Abebe Bikila became the first black African to win the gold medal in the Olympic Marathon at the time Blacks were considered inferior. He won the first gold medal at the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome, barefoot.

He was an inspiration for many aspiring runners and other African and black people. When he said he could do another 10 kilometers after the Marathon, he was not joking. He was a very competitive person, with great charisma. His bare feet running was another amazing occasion.

Today many records are broken by Ethiopia. Some of the known runners are Haile Gebre Selassie and Fatuma Roba. These runners set a bar in their respective running category.

Facts about Ethiopia #10- Setting the bar in running

Ethiopia is one of the civilizations that contributed much to the world. The Axum civilization 2 millennia ago was a big influence in the development of the world. Today, it seems the country is in a problem, and poorness is associated with its name. However, it is always to remember the good part of a country as well.

The country’s position in religion, sports, and social and historic areas should be celebrated as well.

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