New Year celebration in Ethiopia

12 Sep 2017

No one can deny the fact that Ethiopia is a mosaic of nations, nationalities and peoples. Above and beyond, all of them live in harmony irrespective of race, religion, age, sex, culture, social status, political affiliation, among others. When September sets in, this great people make a point celebrating the New Year with overriding elation accompanied by their close and distance relatives as well as fellow citizens.

In fact, there are scores of religious festivals which come to pass at every corner of the country once a year. The different festivals which are celebrated in most parts of the country win the hearts and minds of everyone with no trouble within the shortest time possible. The various holidays, celebrated annually across the country consist of Meskel (the finding of the true cross), Christmas, Timket (epiphany) Kiddus Yohannes, Easter and what have you. Most of them are celebrated by Christians. As a matter of fact, the New Year celebration is among one of festivities which are celebrated across the country. The way how different people celebrate the New Year vary from place to place based on individuals' background.

The New Year Enkutatash is a significant celebration for all Ethiopians seeing that the holiday typifies the reaching of good yield. The New Year is as well the month that the country experiences attention-grabbing atmosphere after seeing off the winter season. More often than not, it is the time that the country is bedecked with eye-catching Meskel daisies which grow once in a year. While we are on the subject, as per the Gregorian calendar, the Ethiopian New year/Enkutatash is celebrated on September 11th seeing that Ethiopia follows the orthodox Julian calendar comprising a coequal section of the twelve months into 30 days each and thus Pagume is formed, consisting 5 or 6 days.

By the same token, the New Year is heralded by fireworks, songs, dances and scores of other related events. Furthermore, numerous entertaining programs are put on air for the general public.

More often than not, on the occasion, kids sing a range of New Year’s songs from door to door. This time, everybody joyfully gives them money in return. In addition to this, children sing beautiful New Year songs on the roadsides, cafes, restaurants, public recreation centers, bars, juice houses and what not. Everybody gives them money and the children in return express their gratitude and appreciation through various melodic New Year songs. Nobody dresses down children as they are today's flowers and tomorrow's seeds. Everyone unanimously welcomes them with affection.

Children as well draw pictures of saints and angels highlighting the day and put up for sale. Mostly, they draw pictures of saints and angels and traditional bouquets of flowers. This being the case, they make a lot of money out of the sale and do whatever they want with the money they garner from different people selling paintings. On New Year's Eve, everybody gets torches which are made out of dry leaves and twigs ready for the festivity and then most parents light the torches and set in motion singing a range of entertaining New Year’s songs.

Early in the morning, all and sundry embellish themselves head to foot in attention-grabbing traditional clothes. They dress sumptuously with their Sunday best. They as well spend the day with their near and distant relatives enjoying Doro Wot if the New Year does not fall either on a fasting day- Wednesday or Friday. Furthermore, they eat to their hearts' content different traditional dishes made of meat and milk products apart from having coffee. By the way, coffee is served with popcorn on that specific day. The celebration goes late into night as it is a merry-making day.

In an attempt to colorfully celebrate the year long-awaited New Year’s day, everybody goes shopping with the intention of purchasing spices, hens, oxen, eggs, butter and the likes. Everybody gets themselves ready for the New Year based on their income. But nobody waits for the day to come simply sitting with folded hands.

The right, left and center of the capital expounded with catchy and mesmerizing New Year songs. Above and beyond, everybody makes sure that their parlor is full and everything is ready for the day.

The other thing is people living in various parts of the country and overseas come home on New Year’s Day for a family reunion. What is more, it is considered as the time most relatives meet with their family members after a long departure. Some of them come home after many years of disappearance. When they come home, everybody grows ecstatic. They get the whole thing required for the day. All Ethiopians help one another for the most part on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of the New Year celebration, most parents buy various types of traditional clothes for their kids with the object of making them happy and welcoming the New Year with eye-catching traditional clothes. Parents as well buy a range of modern clothes based on their kids' interest as there is nothing under the sun which make them elated than helping their kids. What is more, they give them adequate amount of money which enables them to buy anything that grabs their fancy. Thus the kids make their day. To cut a long story short, the kids spend their time as they wish given that the New Year is one of the happiest days in their lives though they partake in various religious holidays every year.

Some people make New Year resolution on New Year's day. Some of them vow to give up smoking and drinking alcohol, get married, become rich, change their behavior and other related aspects although it is possible to make a plan anytime. More to the point, most people exchange various types of gifts in addition to enjoying the festivity. Nobody holds grudge on New Year’s Day no matter what the cost may be. So this New Year too let us strengthen our national consensus.

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