Most countries in the world have transitioned to 2024, but Ethiopia stands as a captivating anomaly with its calendar still rooted in the year 2016.
The intriguing phenomenon is traced back to Ethiopia’s adoption of a distinct calendar system, known as the Ethiopian calendar or Ge’ez calendar, which has kept the country out of sync with the Gregorian calendar followed by most countries
The Ethiopian calendar has ancient origins, dating back to the Aksumite Kingdom in the 4th century.
The Ethiopian calendar comprises 13 months, 12 of which have 30 days each, and a final month, Pagumē, which has either 5 or 6 days, depending on whether it is a leap year.
Enkutatash, the New Year in Ethiopia is celebrated on September 11 or September 12 during leap years.
The main reason for Ethiopia’s unique calendar lies in its adherence to the ancient traditions and religious practices of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
The calendar is deeply intertwined with the country’s cultural, religious, and historical identity, making any deviation from it a complex and challenging endeavor.
The Gregorian Calendar vs. the Ethiopian Calendar
While most of the world transitioned to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, Ethiopia continued to follow its traditional calendar. This discrepancy results in the roughly 7 to 8-year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars.
The time difference between Ethiopia and much of the world has practical implications for international relations, trade, and global communication.
For example when scheduling events or coordinating activities with Ethiopia, their is a need to consider the time difference in order to avoid misunderstandings and logistical challenges.