Happy Ethiopian New YearEthiopia still retains the Julian calendar - the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and 6 days in leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar and the New Year is celebrated on September 11th each year.
Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels". When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels.
The festival has been celebrated each spring and marks the end of the rainy season. New Year's Eve is spent feasting and partying. On New Year's Day, the house is decorated with yellow Meskal daisies and girls armed with a kabero drum, go from house to house singing a special Enkutatash song. Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards or a traditional bouquet of flowers.