The Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash), (September 11)

The Ethiopian calendar registers the New Year on Meskerem (September); first, as a commemoration of the receding of the great storm during the time of Noah and secondly as a remembrance of Kidus Yohannes, (St. John the Baptist) beheading.

Etymologists relate Enkutatash to the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon of Israel. This new New Year celebration as a national holiday is celebrated both by Muslims and Christians.

Both Enkutatash and Meskal fall during the mass blooming of golden yellow Meskal daisies known as ‘adey ababa’. At the celebrations of Enkutatash and Meskal, children can be heard singing interesting traditional seasonal songs. “Eyoha abebaye / Meskerem tebaye / Meskerem siteba adey sifeneda/ Enkuan sew zemedu yieteykal bada...” roughly translated as “the bright season of September with the fields decorated with blooming flowers encourage people to visit not only kinsmen friends….” These words announce the coming of the bright Ethiopian month with its colorful flowers. The song also encourages everybody to pay a visit to his or her relatives, because the now-receding rivers make it easier for people to travel from place to place. The best time of visiting Ethiopia is impeccably this time of the year.