Today Ethiopian calendar and Gregorian calendar, Tuesday, or ‘Maksegno’ (in the Amharic language of Ethiopia) is Megabit 1, 2012 E.C and March 10, 2020 G.C. The first question that comes to many tourist’s minds is Ethiopian calendar? Why a unique calendar? I will elaborate on the points that make the Ethiopian calendar unique and different.
Ethiopia is one of the fewest countries, which follow the old calendar. However, due to the difference in the year, travelers hardly suffer any inconvenience. The Gregorian, however, is familiar to most Ethiopians and some still use both calendars interchangeably. This unique way of counting days of the year is closely associated with the Coptic and Julian calendars, but also it has some features and calculating techniques that make it different.
Many societies throughout the world have and developed their calendars that are different from the common Gregorian calendar. Despite their differences, all remained by the rule of 12 months a year.
An Ethiopian year is composed of 13 months and is seven years delayed from the Gregorian calendar. While the first 12 months have 30 days, the last month, called Pagume, has five days and six days in a leap year.
Ethiopia uses its ancient calendar, which hardly creates any inconvenience for travelers because of the calendar difference. Be that as it many, most Ethiopians these days are presently mindful of the Gregorian calendar, and a few indeed utilize both calendars traded.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, both the Ethiopian and Coptic calendars have thirteen-months. The first twelve months have 30 days and the last month called Pagume has 5 or 6 days depending on whether the year is a Leap or not (every four years).
A Leap year will have 6 days in its thirteen-month and other regular years will have 5 days of this additional thirteenth month.
What is the Difference between today Ethiopian calendar and Gregorian?
The very first difference that makes the Today Ethiopian Calendar unique is it has 13 Months in a Year. A year in the Today Ethiopian Calendar is 13 months long, with 12 months of 30 days each. The last month has 5 days in a common year and 6 days during a leap year.
Like in the calendar of Julian, a leap year time in today Ethiopian Calendar happens every 4 years without exclusion.
The schedule of Gregori contains 12 months with January, March, May, July, August, October, and December having 31 days, and April, June, September, and November, 30 days, and February having 28 days (29 days in a leap year).
The Gregorian calendar is the famously utilized calendar in most of the world. It is titled after Pope Gregory, who founded it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day cosmic year [tropical year] that is defined by the Earth’s revolution encompassing the Sun.
The calendar was formed as a revision to the Julian calendar, reducing the average year by 0.0075 days to stop the drift of the calendar regarding the equinoxes. To administer with the 10 days’ departure (between calendar and reality) that this drift had already relinquished, the date was forward so that 4 October 1582 was followed by 15 October 1582.
The reformation was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe and their overseas territories. Over the next three centuries, the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries also influenced what they called the Improved calendar, with Greece being the last European country to use the calendar in 1923.
The calendar of Gregori is a solar time schedule with 12 months of 28–31 days. A regular Gregorian year contains 365 days, but in several years known as leap years, a leap day is added to February. Gregorian years are recognized by continuous year numbers.
A calendar is completely designated by the year, the month, and the days. Although the calendar year in the present time operates from 1 January to 31 December, at earlier times year numbers were based on a distinct starting point throughout the calendar.
In the Julian time schedule, a leap year happened every 4 years, and the leap day was included by duplicating 24 February. The Gregorian reformation rejected a leap day in three of every four hundred years and left the leap day uninterrupted. However, it has become common in the current time to number the days orderly with no breaks, and 29 February is typically regarded as the leap day. The Gregorian calendar was an improvement of the Julian calendar.
The motive for the improvement was to produce the date for the festival of Easter to the time of year in which it was honored when it was launched by the old Church. The flaw in the Julian calendar (its hypothesis that there are precisely 365.25 days in a year) had commenced to the date of the equinox with respect to the calendar straying from the perceived truth, and thus an oversight had been imported into the estimation of the date of Easter
The Ethiopian New Year comes on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar. However, it is September one in the today Ethiopian Calendar. In Ethiopia the opening month of the year is September and the closing (thirteenth) month of the year is Pagumiene, which occurs after August. Each month holds 30 days from September to August and the thirteenth month, Pagumiene, becomes 5 days.
Considering the today Ethiopian Calendar bases its major ways of counting and calculating days of the year on the antique Coptic calendar, the Today Ethiopian Calendar is seven to eight years back the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the significant variation arises from the number of months that live in a year.
In the Gregorian calendar, there are 12 months that vary from each other holding from 28 – 31 days in a month. February is the month with the fewest number of days in Gregorian calendar which is 28 days, and the peak of the days in a month in the Gregorian calendar is 31.
While in the Today Ethiopian Calendar there are 13 months in a particular year, with twelve months all having thirty days in each of them and with the last thirteen-month possessing 5 or 6 days whether that year is a Leap year or not.
If the year is a Leap year the thirteen-month will have 6 days, other than that it will have five days. A Leap year in Today Ethiopian Calendar occurs once every four years.
Jesus’ Birth Year Main Difference
The principal feature of variation rests in the calculation of the date of the birth of Jesus, which determines that the Today Ethiopian Calendar is 7 to 8 years back the Gregorian calendar.
While most Christians mark Christmas on December 25, Ethiopians feast Christmas on January 7 along with several Orthodox Christian churches around the world. Most other Orthodox churches practice the Julian calendar.
A few Orthodox societies practice the Revised Julian calendar instead, which is one of the most accurate calendars ever produced.
The additional principal variation among the Today Ethiopian Calendar and the Gregorian calendar is, The Today Ethiopian Calendar is seven to eight years back the Gregorian calendar. The primary issue that arises when understanding about these years of Gap is,
Why is the Ethiopian calendar 7 years Back?
Why do these two calendars have this much variation while they both accept the date of the birth of Jesus Christ as an origin point for their starting point?
These seven up to eight years of the break between the two calendars even if they both accept the birth date of Jesus Christ as an origin point for their estimations. The break in the two calendars is because of the substitute calculations that are used in discovering this date [the date Jesus Christ was born].
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church understands Jesus Christ was born in 7 BC, 5,500 years after God’s obligation to Adam and Eve. Owing to its complexity, the Ethiopians call their way of estimating the calendar ‘Bahere Hasab’, or ‘sea of thoughts’.
The calendar method originates with the idea that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years before they were dismissed for their sins. After they apologized, the Bible says that God promised to save them after 5,500 years.
Therefore, the break of seven up to eight years between the two calendars spreads from the idea that Adam and Eve had prevailed in heaven for seven years before they made the sin which made them be dismissed.
As the Gregorian calendar was designed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, by executing some modifications to the previously used Julian calendar. Many countries that denoted beneath the dominance of the Catholic Church had to acquire these new calendars.
At the period, most nations refused the unusual design of determining the days in a year, which challenged them to eliminate 11 days from their Julian calendar. But after times, many countries commenced approving the calendar and becomes the most accepted type of calendar in the world.
Since Ethiopia is a country independent of any colonial influences in her history and influences of the Roman church, was not influenced by the waves, and can easily maintain its original calendar, which declares that Jesus was born in 7 BC, and started counting days from that year on. Other calendars believed that he was born in AD 1.
The variation in the calendar that Ethiopia follows resulted from this day forward, which is why the country’s calendar is seven to eight years behind.
The months and their first dates are as regards:
Normal Year Leap Year in today Ethiopian calendar
- Meskerem_ 11 Sept-12 Sept
- Tikemet_ 11 Oct-12 Oct
- Hidar_ 10 Nov-11 Nov
- Tahesas_10 Dec-11 Dec
- Tir_ 9 Jan-10 Jan
- Yekatit_8 Feb-9 Feb
- Megabit_10 Mar-11 Mar
- Miyaza_ 9 Apr-10 Apr
- Ginbot_ 9 May-10 May
- Sene_ 8 Jun-9 Jun
- Hamle_8 Jul-9 Jul
- Nehase_7 Aug-8 Aug
- Pagume_6 Sep-7 Sep
What Holidays Are in Today Ethiopian Calendar?
As one of the fewer countries in the world with its different calendar customs, Ethiopia feasts significant holidays on days that are various from the rest of the world. For instance, Ethiopia strikes the New Year on September 11, and not on January 1.
The calendar gives foreign travelers the ideal excuse to catch two different celebrations for New Year’s and Christmas.
The Christian Holidays in Today Ethiopian Calendar has remarkable variance with that of the Gregorian calendar. Christmas comes on January 7, as in the Orthodox traditional calendar. Likewise, Epiphany is on January 19. Easter would resemble to be estimated according to the orthodox calendar also.
Christmas and Epiphany also do not arrive to move by one day during Leap years as they would if they were being arranged by the above calendar. Thus, it would appear that the Christian celebrations are set following the Orthodox calendar rather than according to the Coptic.
Ethiopia’s New Year (Enkutatash) denotes the “gift of jewels”. The Enkutatash literature dates behind to the period when the legendary Queen of Sheba returned from her precious journey to attend King Solomon in Jerusalem.
Her leaders are assumed to have greeted her by showering her with gifts of jewels or ‘inku’. But Enkutatash is not particularly a religious holiday. The spring festival, which has been glorified since early times, also signifies the end of the rainy season followed by dancing and singing across the green countryside.
It is also the period for replacing formal New Year greetings and cards among the locals
These are the major public Holidays in today Ethiopian calendar.
- January 7 Ethiopian Christmas
- January 19 Ethiopian Epiphany
- March 2 Victory of Adwa Day
- March 13 Id Al Fitir [End of Ramadan]
- April 6 Patriots Victory day
- April 17 Id Al Adha [Arafa]
- April 25 Ethiopian Good Friday
- April 27 Ethiopian Easter [Fasika]
- May 28 Downfall of the Dergue [since 1991]
- July 17 Birth of prophet mohammed [moulid]
- September 11 Ethiopian New Year [Enqutatash ]
- September 27 Feast of the True Cross [Meskal]
In General, today Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopians has their own method of calculating days of the year which differs from the Gregorian calendar and also a slight difference with the Egyptian Coptic Calendar. The methods and rules of calculating this calendar bases its rules on the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church. The Calendar is seven up to years behind the Gregorian calendar because of the belief that Adam and Eve lived in heaven for seven years before they were expelled for their sins.
There for the Today Ethiopian Calendar is:
- Used In – Ethiopia and Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Eritrea
- Calendar type – Solar / depends on Earth rotation around the sun
- Number of Months – 13