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Ethiopia: The country which is 7 years behind the world clock

This change of calendar can get real confusing for foreign travelers coming to the country. Where the whole world is in 2018, Ethiopia seems to do things a little differently by turning the clock upside down.

Time is a complex matter. It is complicated as well as fascinating sometimes. In Ethiopia, things can get a real twist. Its the new year of Ethiopia. On Sept 12, Ethiopia embraces itself for the new year celebrations (Enkutatash-Gift of Jewels) across the country. Ethiopia uses its own calendar where its 2011. Unlike other countries , Ethiopia uses a Coptic calendar against the Georgian Calendar.

Coptic calendar is 8 years behind the Georgian calendar because Ethiopian Orthodox Church disagrees with the Roman Catholic Church about the actual date of birth of the Christ. Ethiopia celebrates its new year on 29th August of Coptic Calendar which is 12 September of Georgian Calendar. Coptic Calendar was fixed to the Julian calendar by Augustus of Rome on August 29 in 25 B.C. The August 29 marked the date for new year. Given that the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia disagrees with the Roman Church over the birthdate of Jesus Christ, Ethiopian’s celebrate January 7 as Christmas in the country.

Coptic calendar has 13 months and 12 out of these months comprise of 30 days each. The last month called intercalary month has 5-6 days in a leap year.  So, in other words when world is busy doing their regular work on Sept 12, Ethiopians are ringing their bells for celebration of a new year. Apart from this , Ethiopia does not use AM (Ante-Meridian) or PM ( Post-Meridian). Their day starts from 1 AM and ends by 12 PM.

This change of calendar can get real confusing for foreign travelers coming to the country. Where the whole world is in 2018, Ethiopia seems to do things a little differently by turning the clock upside down.
Like Coptic Calendar, there are many more calendars.

  • Lunisolar calendar
  • Egyptian
  • Persian calendar
  • Islamic calendar
  • Celtic calendar
  • Thai lunar calendar
  • Bengali calendar
  • Chinese Calendar
  • Hebrew Calendar
  • Indian Calendar
  • Tamil Calendar

Hindu calendar is ahead of Georgian calendar by 56 years. So, its year 2074 according to Vikram Samvat started by King Vikram Aditya. It was made the national calendar of India in 1957. Fascinating how time is calculated around the world.

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