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:


The West's Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

How the West sleeps is different from the rest

How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000

It's cheaper than you think to make that move abroad you always dreamed about

Around the World in One Semester

Welcome to our newest blogger--a world traveling, homeschooling mom--to the InCultureParent family!

How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law

A whole year of arguing in the making

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 My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.
[…] and cardboard, complete with plastic bag streamers! If you’d like to make your own dragon mask, here are the instructions (scroll down to the bottom for the masks). Although the masks o...
From 5 Crafts for the Chinese New Year
[…] linkje naar  een blogpost van JC Niala waar het gaat om het verschil tussen Westerse en Afrikaanse […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Map nerd here, i really dislike that all these maps use projections that make greenland hug...
From 10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room
[…] you to do as much as they can for you. There is very little that cannot wait.    Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Han When I breastfed in the park, grandmothers would...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] Why African Babies Don’t Cry In the UK, it was understood that babies cry. In Kenya, it was quite the opposite. The understanding is that babies don’t cry. If they do—somethi...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi there, I'm in Port Edward and am dying to get two children's maps of the world. Where can I get them? Regar...
From 10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room
I'm going crazy! Mother in law has lived with us for 4 1/2 yrs and she's a dirty nasty slob. She does zero house cleaning and leaves garbage and wrappers all over the place. Her room is wall to wall...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I had a baby boy the 13th of May 2015.... In a private hospital, verrrry western! One night the Baby was crying and crying... Non stop ... Nothing I did worked!! I was in a ward with 3 other woman,...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Salam I came across your post and found it very good..... I need an advice .. I have a one yr old daughter... My husband works in dubai. ..... I have to do training for my specialization am a...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

More Global Celebrations