Doesn’t it roll around quickly? Ah yes, Ethiopian Enkutatash and another year younger.
I’m fortunate to have the woman I title Ethiopia’s First Lady, Meseret Tekalign Bekele, Ethiopian Airlines‘ Sales and Service Manager (Middle East And Asia) around to remind me.
I broke bread, ate authentic Ethiopian food (with my hands) and drank wine with the elegant Meseret on more than one occasion in Dublin when she served there.
Enkutatash is, of course, the best New Year of them all.
Because it’s on the Gregorian Calendar you end up gaining back seven years.
Ethiopians will be glad to see the back of their 2013.
And the hostilities that have gripped the country, and the pandemic which grips us all.
And they truly deserve the respite that Enkutatash gives them.
The festivities mark the end of the three-month rainy season.
And on the eve of the celebrations each household lights wooden torches in groups called ‘chibo’ to signify the coming of the new season of sunshine.
And so say all of us.
A land steeped in history
Ethiopia is a country steeped in history.
Wth our touchpoints for our Western Civilisation, Lucy, the first woman, the Queen of Sheba, Emperor Haile Selassie and Olympic great Haile Gebrselassie.
While for this aspiring Eighties schoolboy long-distance athlete Miruts Yifter, or Yifter the Shifter, was an idol.
Enkutatash celebrations usually begin with church activities.
One more cup of coffee
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an integral part of the celebration.
And the ritual of coffee serving and drinking can last for hours.
It is a social occasion which if you’re lucky enough to be invited to is a great honour.
And one which I’ve savoured.. and the coffee is well worth the wait.
There is a lesson here that we all need to slow down and allow things to take their sweet, natural time.
Which is why I’m waiting for when I can reconnect with my Ethiopian friends.
And finally visit the East African country and cradle of civilisation.