Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy 2004 Ethiopian New Year!

Selam all,
I wish you and your loved ones a happy, prosperous, joyful, and successful Ethiopian New Year which is 2004 and begun just yesterday. For all of you non-Ethiopians who wonder why we are 7yrs behind your calendar, there's a bit of history. According to legend Ethiopians follow the oldest calendar which dates back thousands of centuries old based on the book of Enuch. The earliest known date is 4236 B.C.E., the founding of the Egyptian calendar. The ancient Egyptian calendar was lunar. The solar Coptic (ግብጽ) calendar, oldest in history, originated three millennia before the birth of Christ. Obviously, our calendar depicts the strong and centuries old geographical, historical and religious ties with Egypt. The Roman Ceasar Juilis however asked an Egyptian astronomer (Sosigenes) to reform the calendar after conquering that country. However, later the Roman papal chancellor, Bonifacius, asked a monk by the name of Dionysius Exiguus (ዲዮናሲዮስ ኤክሲጅዮስ) to implement the rules from the Nicaean Council (የኒቅያ ጉባዔ) for general use and to prepare calculations of the dates of Easter, Dionysius fixed Jesus' birth in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 A.U.C., thus making the current era start with A.D. 1 on 1 January 754 A.U.C. It was about 525 A.D. that Dionysius Exiguus, started his count (instead of the Diocletian / ዲዮቅልጥያኖስ of 284 A.D.) with the year 1 A.D., considered to be the year of the birth of Christ. It is likely that Jesus was actually born around 7 B.C. or before King Herod's death in 750 A.U.C. I got this story from the internet and if want to learn more about the history of Ethiopian vs Gregorian calendars please click here It's been 7yrs since I spent Ethiopian New Year back home and I'm missing (I wouldn't expect that when I moved here) it more and more each years pass bye. I can't help but thinking about the nostalgia of the smell of
Addey Abebea (daisy flowers), fresh home baked bread, Dorro wot, Enjera, the smell of the mud, the odor of home-brewed Beer (Tela) the chanting of small girls on our door-steps the list goes on and on. There's nothing like home, on top of that I'm also missing the moments where friends and family members are sharing without my presence. I just don't know when I am gonna back and enjoy everything as I used to be...hmmm well things have changed and I think I might not enjoy stuffs as I used to be. To comepensate that I spent the new year eve with my European and Ethiopian born Yemeni friends. (from left to right Anette, me, Afrah, Jonas)
with improvised Ethiopian foods (vegetarian food) which is way different than the traditional meaty food being prepared and served back home. One of the reasons why I prepared vegetarian food on such special day is that all of my friends with the exception of me and my friend from Yemen are all vegetarian and the other reason is that vegi is cool, tasty, healthy and above all cheap:-) It was quite a simple dish Enjera (flat spongy Ethiopian bread) which I baked on Saturday, Qey Miser wot (Hot Lentil stew) Alcha dinch enna Karrot (potato & carrot curry) which I prepared minutes before they were served on the table on the eve of Ethiopian New year. My friends told me the food was good but I am not sure if they were trying be nice or not:-) Now, I know Ethiopian Berbere (spiced chili) is the best chili in the world which immediately changes the flavor and color of the food as soon as one sprinkle some of it on the food you prepared-thanks to our mothers, grandmothers and great great great great grand mothers' devotion. I just don't understand why there's no Ethiopian fast food/restaurant chains provided such a rich food culture.
I guess, many Ethiopians are forced to be vegi back home even on holidays due to the price hyke of meat. It's beyond my imagination how the others who're less fortunate to spend this special day or should I say even survive on daily basis under such a huge inflation in the country's history. I wish I could do something to help and I hope things would get better before they get worse for everyone of us all over the world in the Ethiopian year 2004. Let's make the world a better place to live by being nice to each other. Melkam Addis Amet once again. MakeoutNOTwars


  1. wow,very well written, i am Ethiopian myself, and though u r write about many people not being able to afford meat in special holidays. many Orthodox (main religion of Ethiopia) also fast before the holidays and feast on the day of for example of Christmas.

  2. Thanks Edom for dropping-by and your feedback. I hope you've seen the article that I published about this year's Ethiopian new year celebration in Stockholm by Ethiopian Diaspora.