Ethiopia, an East African country that uses a unique calendar and time system, will enter 2014. As preparations for the New Year continue in the country, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a congratulatory message and distributed Christmas gifts to the elderly and disabled in the capital, Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian calendar, which is a solar-based calendar that is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian calendar, is used by the Ethiopian state in all official affairs, as well as being a religious calendar. This is because it calculates the birth year of Jesus Christ differently. When the Catholic Church amended its calculation in 500 AD, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church did not.
Unlike children growing up elsewhere, there is little need for Ethiopian youngsters to learn rhymes to remember how many days each month has.
In Ethiopia, which also uses a different time system, the day starts at 06:00, not at 00:00. While a day consists of two different parts of 12 hours, the first time zone starts at 06.00 and the second zone starts at 18.00.
The first day of the year, known as “Enkutatash” in Ethiopia, is considered the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the harvest period. While the first 12 months in the Ethiopian calendar consist of 30 days, there is a 13th month of 5 to 6 days after the 12th month in the calendar.