7 Years Younger This is the Ethiopian Calendar

The Ethiopian Calendar is based on the ancient Coptic calendar and still in use today. It includes twelve 30-day months and a 13th month of five days (six days in leap years).   So that makes the current year according to the Ethiopian calendar as 2004, which began on September 12, 2011AD of the Gregorian calendar.  Does that make sense?  So I was really born in 1967 and I am really 7 years younger than what I actually am!  I knew I would love this country.  But I guess that makes Zeme 7 years younger and those numbers don’t look healthy at all….. Oh well I guess you can’t have it both ways.  Me being 30 or Zeme being 18?  Hmmmmmm moving on……….

The Ethiopian clock has 24 hours in a day, similar to its western counterpart. However, Ethiopia has shifted their clock by six hours so that the clock rolls over at 6 am - the start of the day. This is an entirely sensible approach given Ethiopia is located near the equator and the sun comes up at the same time every day of the year. To convert between the Ethiopian and western clocks, simply subtract six hours.  So midday for the western time is actually 6pm Ethiopian time-okay that will take just a little getting used to.  Both on tour and on my second return Minalu and Zeme would give Ethiopian times and just at the end of my last trip I was starting to get the hang of it and I would tell Zeme the time based on the Ethiopian clock.

The Ethiopian calendar, also known as the Ge'ez calendar. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar. However, like the Julian calendar, the Ethiopian calendar adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A seven to eight-year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from alternate calculations.  Another prominent calendar system was developed by the Oromo around 300 BC. A lunar-stellar calendar, it relies on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven particular stars or constellations.

Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian calendar has twelve months of 30 days each plus five or six epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. The sixth epagomenal day is added every four years without exception on August 29 of the Julian calendar, six months before the Julian leap day.
Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1901 and 2099 (inclusive), is
usually September 11 (Gregorian), but falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year.

Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya (with Tigrinya suffixes in parentheses)
Gregorian start date
Start date in year after sixth epagomenal day
Mäskäräm (መስከረም)
September 11
September 12
Ṭəqəmt(i) (ጥቅምት)
October 11
October 12
Ḫədar (ኅዳር)
November 10
November 11
Taḫśaś ( ታኅሣሥ)
December 10
December 11
Ṭərr(i) (ጥር)
January 9
January 10
Yäkatit (Tn. Läkatit) (የካቲት)
February 8
February 9
Mägabit (መጋቢት)
March 10
March 10
Miyazya (ሚያዝያ)
April 9
April 9
Gənbot (ግንቦት)
May 9
May 9
Säne (ሰኔ)
June 8
June 8
Ḥamle (ሐምሌ)
July 8
July 8
Nähase (ነሐሴ)
August 7
August 7
Ṗagʷəmen/Ṗagume (ጳጐሜን/ጳጉሜ)
September 6
September 6

The Ethiopian New Year, also known as Enkutatashnew year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet (Head Anniversary) in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopian calendar year 1998 'Amätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on September 11, 2005. However, the Ethiopian years 1996 and 1992 AM began on September 12, 2003 and 1999, respectively.  This date correspondence applies from the Gregorian years 1900 to 2099. Generally, because every fourth Ethiopian year is a leap year without exception, while Gregorian years divisible by 100 are not leap years, a set of corresponding dates will thus apply only for one century. However, because the Gregorian year 2000 is a leap year, then in this case the correspondences continue for two centuries.

For curiosity click below to find out what the current date is in Ethiopia