Pin It
Friday, September 7th, 2012

Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11

Ethiopian-New-Year/ © Joel Carillet-istockphoto

Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year, marks the end of the rainy reason and the beginning of the spring sunshine. While Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, the holiday falls on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12th.

Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the Queen of Sheba returning from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, according to popular legend. When the Queen arrived, she was greeted by her Ethiopian chiefs with enku, jewels. This joyful holiday has supposedly been celebrated since this time, marked by dancing and singing across the green countryside, budding with spring flowers.

Enkutatash is a very festive occasion. After attending church in the morning, families gather to share a traditional meal of injera (flat bread) and wat (stew). Later in the day, young girls donning new clothes, gather daisies and present friends with a bouquet, singing New Year’s songs. They often receive a small gift in return, usually either money or bread. Young boys paint pictures of saints to give away and also receive a small token in return. The day of festivities winds down with families visiting friends and sharing a drink of tella, Ethiopian beer, while children go out and spend their newly received riches.

Need a recipe for the New Year? We’ve got your back!

Make our doro wat.

How about a craft for kids?

Try our geometric stamps.

© 2012, The Editors. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


All I Want for Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children

Why OPOL has been harder than we thought.

Breastfeeding Around the World

In photos and figures

The African Guide to Co-sleeping

10 must-read tips on co-sleeping from Africa

Circumcision Wars

She fought her Turkish in-laws on it--did she succeed?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


InCultureParent is an online magazine for parent's raising little global citizens. Centered on global parenting culture and traditions, we feature articles on parenting around the world and on raising multicultural and multilingual children.

Leave us a comment!

4 Comments
  1. CommentsMelkam Addis Amet! « Ethiopian Canadian Kids   |  Sunday, 11 September 2011 at 9:34 pm

    […] Here’s a neat little video showing an Enkutatash tradition. […]

  2. CommentsThe Link: Ring in the New Year « ipl2 – news and information   |  Monday, 16 January 2012 at 6:42 am

    […] Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11 http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/08/enkutatash-ethiopian-new-year-september-11/ Enkutatash, or “gift of jewels,” marks the traditional Ethiopian New Year. Find out some […]

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | Enkutatash Recipe: Dabo Kolo   |  Monday, 10 September 2012 at 9:13 pm

    […] comments Looking for a fun way to celebrate Ethiopian New Year with your family?  These snacks are great for lunchboxes, after school snacks or appetizer nibbles […]

  4. CommentsHappy Ethiopian New Year! - Voice Ethiopia - Shaping Brighter Futures.   |  Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 2:55 pm

    […] to InCultureParent, Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the […]









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

I am just another "farang" or stranger until my son starts speaking fluent Thai

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

What you may want to consider before sending in that adoption application.

10 Best Children's Books for Gifts

Our Editors favorite multicultural books for this holiday season.

Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

How do I explain to my kids the racism that does not come in the form of explicit laws and overt, blatant prejudice?

10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry

We dare you to read these without a tear
Boxes for Katje, also a Reading Rainbow book http://vimeo.com/6493760 Based on true event...
From 10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry
[…] InCulture Parent: InCulture Parent is not only about raising bilingual kids, it’s about so much more: Culture, tradition and language, raising bilingual/multilingual and multicultural ki...
From 6 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Raise a Bilingual Child on a Budget
[…] Finally, here are two relevant articles on the importance of reading multicultural children’s literature and why reading multicultural books to your child matters. […...
From Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books
[…] here are two relevant articles on the importance of reading multicultural children’s literature and why reading multicultural books to your child […...
From Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids
[…] choice to raise our children in a  bilingual household.  We did not choose this path to reap the educational benefits (added bonus!), but, instead for personal […...
From 7 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids
J C Niala, Thank you so much for this article. I am glad to see that you thought to write this. You hit the nail right on the head by drawing attention to the fact that African babies do not cry o...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I really appreciate the articles to fully nutritional to me. May you let articles of this nature come or be posted directly to my e-mail please! Josph...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] and cartoon series featuring Muslim superheroes More suggestions for diverse cartoons can be found here. Please feel free to add some articles and resources you have found helpful in the...
From 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)
[…] a conversation with kids about race 5 ways to teach your kids about race and cultural diversity A guide by age for talking to kids about race Lessons from the playground in diversity R...
From How to Talk to Kids About Race: What’s Appropriate for Ages 3-8

More Global Celebrations