Reflections on Ethiopian New Year 2021

11 Sep

The 11th of September is Ethiopian New Year. And as we know, the way we choose to mark time is not set in stone. Time can be marked using the configurations of lunar, stella and solar movements across the heavens. When we acknowledge that Africa is the cradle of humanity, culture and civilisation, it will not take a stretch of the imagination to accept that Africans across the continent found rudimentary and more complex ways to mark time.

For example, the Ishango bone was carved in the Congo c23,000 BCE and is widely accepted as the oldest mathematical tool, possibly used in a number of ways including a lunar device to measure the female menstrual cycle. The Julian calendar which is used by the Ethiopians, was commissioned by Emperor Julius Caesar and was written by mathematician and astronomers Sosigenes of Alexandria, a native East African of the Nile Valley in 45 BCE.

The Gregorian calendar which is currently the dominant mode of time keeping internationally, is 7 years ahead of the Julian calendar, which is the one followed by the Orthodox Christian Community, led by Ethiopia. Ethiopia has the oldest religious books of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Ethiopia was once seen as one of the most religiously tolerant nations. Ethiopia was not colonised by Europeans because ordinary men and women came together to defend their way of life and their freedom to live in peace. Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union. Ethiopia is a symbol of unity for Africans internationally.

Ethiopians Working Together

Journalist Zeinab Badawi reporting in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Religious Art

Enkutatash Meskerem 1st 2014

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