top of page

Enqutatash! Kidus Yohannes! Happy Ethiopian New Year!

Enkutatash is the name for the Ethiopian New Year in Amharic, it is also called Ri'se Awde Amet which means the Head of the Holy days. Ethiopia ushers her new year on September 11, which is the first day of the Ethiopian month of Meskerem. Except for the year preceding a leap year, it occurs on September 12th.

Deuteronomy 32:7

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”

The word Enkutatash means the Gift of Diamonds. Legend has it that King Solomon of Jerusalem gave the Queen of Sheba jewels during her famous visit to Jerusalem as mentioned in the Bible in 1 Kings 10 and in 2 Chronicles 9. She had gifted Solomon with 120 talents of gold(4.5 tons) as well as a large amount of unique spices and jewels. When the Queen returned to Ethiopia her chiefs welcomed her with gifts of ‘Enku’ or diamond. Her return to Ethiopia coincided with the New Year celebration in September, and hence the name Enkutatash came to be.

Each year in the Ethiopian C