ENKUTATASH (ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR)

September 11(September 12 during a leap year)

The Enkutatash celebration marks the end of the 3 months -long heavy rain season and the beginning of a new sunny and bright season. The name “Enkutatash” in Amharic meaning “Gift of Jewels” and suggests to a century-old tale of Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia who visited king Solomon of Israel. She sent a bunch of gifts for the king and, upon return home, was welcomed with a supply of “enku”(jewels) for her treasury.

On the day of Enkutatash most household members, neighbours and relatives gather to enjoy a traditional meal and celebrate by offering gifts to children. Girls’ singing and dancing are also parts of the celebration. During the days freshly picked flowers, which symbolize the coming of spring period of reenergizing, and painted pictures of saints are given by children in exchange for mutual gifts.

Visitors, who are elsewhere in Ethiopia on the New Year, enjoy the taste of the cultural celebration of “Enkutatash”, with dancing, eating, drinking and feeling Ethiopian cultural festivities at different places.