Today marks Enkutatash, or the first day of the New Year in Ethiopia. Directly translated to mean “gift of jewels”, Enkutatash celebrates Queen of Sheba’s return from her visit to King Solomon when her chiefs replaced her trunk with jewels. On this gorgeous New York day, the Ethiopian New Year also represents the end of the heavy rains season.
So why is it only 2005? The ancient African calendar used in Ethiopia is 7-8 years behind the Gregorian calendar that we use here in the States. In Washington, D.C., where they have the largest Ethiopian population in the US, thousands gathered on Sunday to celebrate the new year, proudly showing off their colors, food, music and dance. While Maya and I will be celebrating the occasion tonight, here’s some Ethiopian pride to ring in the New Year.