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.

m4s0n501

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America

Is it racist to not want to raise your kids in white America?

Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids

The most comprehensive list of language learning resources

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

Our top picks for Muslim and non-Muslim kids alike

Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins

Language acquisition in three-and-a-half year old, bilingual twins.

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 This Mom Banned the Word ‘Weird’ From Her Kids' Vocabulary

One approach to explaining diversity to kids.

French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

How one mom in an intercultural marriage sees the differences between Italian and French parenting

The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers

Should they be allowed because it's "normal?" Think again.

Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

What's the best way to transmit the values we care about to our kids?

Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

Smarter, larger, better, healthier and more beautiful? A project that debunks stereotypes.

Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

At what age does my darling black son begin to look like a threat to the world?

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

A great pick for back to school season

My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

Does your shelf have these kid favorites?
It seems more like you are comparing old-school parenting views with the more modern approaches already being practiced in many places around the world. I know that education, age, financial stabili...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
@astarte Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is beautiful all the languages you are raising your son with. May I share your story (without your name) on our Facebook page? I would love more...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
hello Lana, am interested in your story.... am fascinated too . But I want to know...are u cancer free now...
From I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids
I appreciate you putting these longings into words. I moved from a multi-cultural community and great diversity of friends in Atlanta to a mostly white region with little diversity. I love my neighb...
From A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America
My son is 4 years' old and he's autistic. I grew up in a bilingual environment (Greek and Polish) and enjoyed switching languages, mixing them up, creating new words and adapting to suit the occasio...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
[…] really our stuffーat least not yetーbut a friend of mine linked to an interesting article “10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children“… and perhaps I liv...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
This is all about paternal grandmother. What are the duties of maternal grann...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
[…] niet huilen, en wat zij ziet in Engeland, waar huilen zo normaal wordt gevonden in het artikel Why african babies don’t cry. In haar artikel geeft ze aan hoe in Kenia de norm is da...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I live in America. Here the majority of my multi lingual experience has been with Spanish. My father was a prestigious chef and the majority of his coworkers were of Mexican decent. I jokingly refer...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children

More Global Celebrations