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The Ethiopian calendar (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ዘመን አቆጣጠር yä'Ityoṗṗya zämän aḳoṭaṭär), also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A seven to eight year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from alternate calculations in determining the date of the Annunciation of Jesus.

Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian calendar has twelve months of 30 days each plus five or six epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. The sixth epagomenal day is added every four years without exception on August 29 of the Julian calendar, six months before the Julian leap day. Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1901 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually September 11 (Gregorian), but falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year.

The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2002, which began on September 11, 2009 AD of the Gregorian calendar. The year 2003 will begin on September 11, 2010.

Contents

New Year's Day

Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian new year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet (Head Anniversary) in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopian calendar year 1998 ˈAmätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on September 11, 2005. However, the Ethiopian years 1996 and 1992 AM began on September 12, 2003 and 1999, respectively.

This date correspondence applies from the Gregorian years 1900 to 2099. Generally, because every fourth Ethiopian year is a leap year without exception, while Gregorian years divisible by 100 are not leap years, a set of corresponding dates will thus apply only for one century. However, because the Gregorian year 2000 is a leap year, then in this case the correspondences continue for two centuries.

Eras

To indicate the year, Ethiopians and followers of the Eritrean churches today use the Incarnation Era, which dates from the Annunciation or Incarnation of Jesus on March 25 of 9 AD (Julian), as calculated by Annianus of Alexandria c. 400; thus its first civil year began seven months earlier on August 29, 8 AD. Meanwhile, Europeans eventually adopted the calculations made by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD instead, which placed the Annunciation exactly eight years earlier than had Annianus. This causes the Ethiopian year number to be eight years less than the Gregorian year number from January 1 until September 10 or 11, then seven years less for the remainder of the Gregorian year.

In the past, a number of other eras for numbering years were also widely used in Ethiopia and the Axumite Kingdom:

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Era of Martyrs

The most important era – once widely used by the Eastern Churches, and still used by the Coptic Church - was the Era of Martyrs, also known as the Diocletian Era, whose first year began on August 29, 284.

Respectively to the Gregorian and Julian New Year's Days about three months later, the difference between the Era of Martyrs and the Anni Domini is 285 (= 15x19) years. This is because in AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus decided to add 15 Metonic cycles to the existing 13 Metonic cycles of the Diocletian Era (15x19 + 13x19 = 532) to obtain an entire 532-year medieval Easter cycle, whose first cycle ended with the year Era of Martyrs 247 (= 13x19) equal to year DXXXI. It is also because 532 is the product of the Metonic cycle of 19 years and the Solar cycle of 28 years.

Anno Mundi according to Panodoros

Around AD 400, an Alexandrine monk called Panodoros fixed the Alexandrian Era (Anno Mundi = in the year of the world), the date of creation, on 29 August 5493 BC. After the 6th century AD, the era was used by Egyptian and Ethiopian chronologists. The twelfth 532-year-cycle of this era began on 29 August 360 AD, and so 4x19 years after the Era of Martyrs.

Anno Mundi according to Anianos

Bishop Anianos preferred the Annunciation style as New Year's Day, the 25 March (see above). Thus he shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March 5492 BC.

Leap year cycle

The four year leap-year cycle is associated with the four Evangelists: the first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named in honour of John, followed by the Matthew-year and then the Mark-year. The year with the sixth epagomenal day is traditionally designated as the Luke-year.

There are no exceptions to the four year leap-year cycle, unlike the Gregorian calendar.

Months

Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya (with Tigrinya suffixes in parentheses) Coptic Gregorian start date Start date in year after
sixth epagomenal day
Mäskäräm (መስከረም) Tut (Thout) September 11 September 12
Ṭəqəmt(i) (ጥቅምት) Babah (Paopi) October 11 October 12
Ḫədar (ኅዳር) Hatur (Hathor) November 10 November 11
Taḫśaś ( ታኅሣሥ) Kiyahk (Koiak) December 10 December 11
Ṭərr(i) (ጥር) Tubah (Tobi) January 9 January 10
Yäkatit (Tn. Läkatit) (የካቲት) Amshir (Meshir) February 8 February 9
Mägabit (መጋቢት) Baramhat (Paremhat) March 10 March 10
Miyazya (ሚያዝያ) Baramundah (Paremoude) April 9 April 9
Gənbot (ግንቦት) Bashans (Pashons) May 9 May 9
Säne (ሰኔ) Ba'unah (Paoni) June 8 June 8
Ḥamle (ሐምሌ) Abib (Epip) July 8 July 8
Nähase (ነሐሴ) Misra (Mesori) August 7 August 7
Ṗagʷəmen/Ṗagumen (ጳጐሜን/ጳጉሜን) Nasi (Pi Kogi Enavot) September 6 September 6

Note that these dates are valid only from March 1900 to February 2100.

Sources

  • "The Ethiopian Calendar", Appendix IV, C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford, The Prester John of the Indies (Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1961).
  • Ginzel, Friedrich Karl, "Handbuch der matematischen und technischen Chronologie", Leipzig, 3 vol., 1906-1914

External links


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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Calendars
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Common use Astro · Gregorian · Islamic · ISO · Julian
Calendar Types
Lunisolar · Solar · Lunar

Selected usage Armenian · Bahá'í · Bengali · Berber · Bikram Samwat · Buddhist · Chinese · Coptic · Ethiopian · Germanic · Hebrew · Hindu · Indian · Iranian · Irish · Japanese · Javanese · Juche · Korean · Malayalam · Maya · Minguo · Nanakshahi · Nepal Sambat · Tamil · Thai (Lunar – Solar) · Tibetan · Turkish · Vietnamese· Yoruba · Zoroastrian
Calendar Types
Original Julian · Runic

The Ethiopian calendar (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ዘመን አቆጣጠር ye'Ītyōṗṗyā zemen āḳoṭaṭer), also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and is also the liturgical year of Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Eastern Catholic Church of Eritrea and Lutheran (Evangelical Church of Eritrea), where it is commonly known as the Ge'ez calendar. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which is based on the even older Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. The seven to eight year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from alternate calculations in determining the date of the Annunciation of Jesus.

Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian/Ge'ez calendar has twelve months of 30 days each plus five or six epagomenal days (usually called a thirteenth month). Furthermore, its months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but they have different names, that are in Ge'ez. The sixth epagomenal day is added every four years without exception on August 29 in the Julian calendar, six months before the Julian leap day. Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1901 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually September 11 (Gregorian), but falls on September 12 (Gregorian), in years before the Gregorian leap year.

Contents

Current year

The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2000. There were millennium celebrations when the new year began in Ethiopia at 12 midnight Ethiopian Time on September 12. The year 2001 will begin on September 11, 2008 of the Gregorian calendar.

New Year's Day

Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian new year in the official language of Ethiopia: Amharic, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet (Head Anniversary) in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopian calendar year 1998 ˈAmätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on 11 September, 2005. However, the Ethiopian years 1996 and 1992 AM began on 12 September 2003 and 1999, respectively.

The new years begin on September 11 or 12 as described above from Gregorian 1900 to 2099, but differently in other Gregorian centuries, because every fourth Ethiopian/Ge'ez year is a leap year without exception.

Eras

To indicate the year, Ethiopians and followers of the Eritrean churches today use the Incarnation Era, which dates from the Annunciation or Incarnation of Jesus on 25 March, 9 (Julian), as calculated by Annianus of Alexandria c. 400; thus its first civil year began seven months earlier on 29 August, 8 (Julian). Meanwhile, Europeans eventually adopted the calculations made by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525 instead, which placed the Annunciation exactly eight years earlier than had Annianus. This causes the Ethiopian year number to be eight years less than the Gregorian year number from January 1 until September 10 or 11, then seven years less for the remainder of the Gregorian year.

In the past, a number of other eras for numbering years were also widely used in Ethiopia and the Axumite Kingdom:

Era of Martyrs

The most important era – once widely used by the Eastern Churches, and still used by the Coptic Church - was the Era of Martyrs, also known as the Diocletian Era, whose first year began on 29 August 284.

Respectively to the western and Julian New Year's Days about three months later, the difference between the Era of Martyrs and the Anni Domini is 285 (= 15x19) years. This is because in AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus decided to add 15 Metonic cycles to the existing 13 Metonic cycles of the Diocletian Era (15x19 + 13x19 = 532) to obtain an entire 532-year medieval Easter cycle, whose first cycle ended with the year Era of Martyrs 247 (= 13x19) equal to year DXXXI. It is also because 532 is the product of the Metonic cycle of 19 years and the Solar cycle of 28 years.

Anno Mundi according to Panodoros

Around AD 400, an Alexandrine monk called Panodoros fixed the Alexandrian Era (Anno Mundi = in the year of the world), the date of creation, on 29 August 5493 BC. After the 6th century AD, the era was used by Egyptian and Ethiopian chronologists. The twelfth 532-year-cycle of this era began on 29 August 360 AD, and so 4x19 years after the Era of Martyrs.

Anno Mundi according to Anianos

Bishop Anianos preferred the Annunciation style as New Year's Day, the 25 March (see above). Thus he shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March 5492 BC.

Leap year cycle

The four year leap-year cycle is associated with the four Evangelists: the first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named in honour of John, followed by the Matthew-year and then the Mark-year. The year with the sixth epagomenal day is traditionally designated as the Luke-year.

There are no exceptions to the four year leap-year cycle, unlike the Gregorian calendar.

Months

Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya (with Tigrinya suffixes in parenthesis) Coptic Gregorian start date Start date in year after
sixth epagomenal day
Mäskäräm (መስከረም) Tut September 11 September 12
Ṭəqəmt(i) (ጥቅምት) Babah October 11 October 12
Ḫədar (ኅዳር) Hatur November 10 November 11
Taḫśaś ( ታኅሣሥ) Kiyahk December 10 December 11
Ṭərr(i) (ጥር) Tubah January 9 January 10
Yäkatit (Tn. Läkatit) (የካቲት) Amshir February 8 February 9
Mägabit (መጋቢት) Baramhat March 10 March 10
Miyazya (ሚያዝያ) Baramundah April 9 April 9
Gənbot (ግንቦት) Bashans May 9 May 9
Säne (ሰኔ) Ba'unah June 8 June 8
Ḥamle (ሓምሌ) Abib July 8 July 8
Nähase (ነሓሴ) Misra August 7 August 7
Ṗagʷəmen/Ṗagumen (ጳጐሜን/ጳጉሜን) Nasi September 6 September 6

Note that these dates are valid only from March 1900 to February 2100.

Sources

  • "The Ethiopian Calendar", Appendix IV, C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford, The Prester John of the Indies (Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1961).
  • Ginzel, Friedrich Karl, "Handbuch der matematischen und technischen Chronologie", Leipzig, 3 vol., 1906-1914


The Ethiopian calendar belongs to the whole tropical contnents that are found inside in the tropics; the earth's parts that are found between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn.

From Ethiopia Amanuel Fassil, Sene 14, 2000 EC.

External links


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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Ethiopian calendar. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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The Ethiopian calendar belongs to the tropical continents of the world,  global area located between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn; this is because Ethiopia’s calendar is naturally given and scientifically accepted. Therefore, we must remove  the Gregorian/   Julian Calendar from the tropical regions of the world.  Because   the so called Gregorian/ earlier known as the Julian Calendar were made based on the time nature of temprate zons of the globe. This means that it  has been made based on the nature of northern and southern temperate hemispheres ( part of the earth between 66.5 and 23.5 degrees north and 66.5 and 23.5 degrees south). For example as all you know that when the sun overhead to the tropic of Cancer on June 21, the length of day by far greater than the length of night in the northern temperate hemisphere. For example, in the capital city of Italy, i.e. in Rome the length of day is more than 15 hours (the sun is available), in London it is more than 16 hours.

But in that date the length of day in Addis Ababa is almost as equal as the length of night. Or their difference is no more than half an hour. Thus can we call that day is as June 21? No we cannot! Why? Because the length of day and night are almost equal. So what we call it? We do call it by its natural and scientifically proved date of the Ethiopian Calendar at that date is known as SENE 14.

From Ethiopia Addis Ababa

by  Fassil Tassew ,

Tir 22, 2001 EC/January 30 2009 EC.

The Ethiopian Calendar System

In this section an attempt is made to pose and discuss the following questions. How did we end up using the Ethiopian calendar? What is the essential logic of the calendar? What is the period of Pagumen? How do Ethiopia's calendar and fiscal year consider the month of Pagumen?

2.2.1. What is Pagumen? In accordance with the Ethiopian Calendar; Pagumen is simply a period of 5 or 6 consecutive days in which it consists of 120 or 144 hours in every leap year.

It has been stated in the literature that the source of all calendars is the works of the Egyptian astronomers. Ephraim Isaac has recently, said the Ethiopian calendar is unique in that it belongs neither to the Julian nor to the Gregorian calendars. But both the Gregorian and Ethiopian calendars have common ground in the sense that they belong to the solar year.

The Ethiopian calendar, which comes from the Egyptian Coptic, is strictly a year of 12 months of equal 30 days and 5 or 6 days in a leap year, which is the solar year. Last and Robson (1968) wrote

“The earth to round the center of the solar system (the sun) takes 365 days and 6 hours. This is the sun year. The extra six hours would make difficulties for men, so they put these hours together every four years making one extra day in that year. Therefore, a year has a period of 365 days or 366 days in a leap year. Besides we know that the earth rotates on its axis. The complete rotation of the earth on its axis takes a period of 24 hours. This is one day. At any time during the 24 hours, one part of the earth's surface faces the sun and in this part it is daytime. Also at any time during 24 hours, part of the earth is turned away from the sun and in this part it is nighttime. Although the axis of the earth is not vertical[9], Ethiopia is found in the equatorial latitude zone that has 12 hours of daytime and 12 hours of nighttime all through the year”.

Ethiopians seem to use more consistent and efficient calendar. Dividing the 365 or 366 days into 12 equal parts gives 30 days of each month and assigning the remainder days to a Pagmen is plausible. With in 30 days standard there are 12 months in which they have 360 days. Therefore, there are five days or six days once in a leap year as a residual from the standard measurement of 30 days, which is called Pagumen. Pagumen is a Geez word (Geez is an ancient Ethiopian language and currently the language of the Orthodox clergy) meaning terfe (residual). Therefore, Pagumen is a period of 5 or 6 consecutive days found at the edge of ending year.

This is because the calendar closely follows the natural rhythm of the climate; it could not be regrouped arbitrarily. For instance, New Year begins at the end of rainy/summer seasons and farmers follow the farming calendar by linking the season to their plantation cycle. It is therefore a logical follow up that the rhythm of nature be considered in the unsophisticated understanding of a calendar.

Consequently, the Ethiopian year begins on Meskerm 1 or September 11 or 12 and it ends on Pagumen 5 or 6 /or10th or11th September 10 or 11 of next year.

2.2.2. The months of Nehasie and Pagumen This sub section reveals the aggregation of the days of the months of Nehasie and Pagumen' according to Ethiopia’s calendar year, which is also consistent with the country’s fiscal year system.


In terms of resource allocation, distribution and redistribution management, when we consider Pagumen, because it is too short to justify the cost of the full-scale budgeting and account settlements, a unique consideration that both acknowledges its importance and a justifiable cost approach should be given. In this respect, it is important to consider the 12th month as a special month consisting of Nehassie and Pagumen in which budget, salaries, and other adjustments should be accounted for the 35/36 days. Therefore, Ethiopia's fiscal year consists of 12 months in which the 11 months each having equal 30 days and 1 month having 35 days or 36 days once in a leap year[11]. This idea is also consistent with the country's calendar year in which the month of Nehasie and Pagumen are 35/36 days taken as one month.

The fiscal year and the calendar year cover the same length of time, usually a year, but they may not coincide in their beginning and ending month, as is the case in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Calendar year, which begins in the month of Mesekerm 1(September 11/12) and ends in the month of Pagumen 5/6(September 10/11). But Ethiopia’s fiscal year begins in Hamle 1 (July 7th) of one year and ends in Sene 30(June 23rd) of the following year.

Fassil Tassew

The calendar in use is the Ethiopian (tropical) calendar. This calendar alike the Gregorian calendar is derived from the solar year. The solar year is a period of about 365 ¼ days. For the benefit of human being, men make a year has 365 days for three consecutive years and 366 days once in every four-year. This happened because the sum of the quarter day of the first, second, third and fourth year gives one day. This day is added to the fourth year to give 366 days, and the year is called leap year. This leap year is different from these three consecutive years by having one more ending day of the year. This intern causes the first year is to be different form the next two consecutive years by having one late beginning day. But the second and third year are similar years, in the sense that both of them have identical beginning and ending days. Therefore there are three categories of the calendar year: category one (the first years), category two (the second and third years) and category three (leap year) please refer to annex.

 

The calendar month is a standard division of the time, 30 days has Maskaram, Tikimit, Hidar, Thahisas, Tir, Yekatit, Megabit, Miyazia, Ginbot, Sene, Hamle, Nehasie and 5 or 6 days in a leap year has Pagume. The Ethiopia calendar year begins on Meskerm 1 (12th September) in the first category, and (11th September) in the second, third and forth categories; ends on Pagume 5 (10th September) in the first, second and third categories and Pagume 6 (11th September) in the fourth category. Therefore, the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months: 11 common months (Meskaram-Hamle) and one special month (Nehasie and Pagume).

 

The fiscal year is government’s 12 months accounting period: it often does not coincide with the calendar year. In Ethiopia, the fiscal year runs form Hamle 1 to Sene 30. The budget for the forthcoming fiscal year is presented towards the end of Miyazia. The fiscal year that runs form Hamle1, 2001 EC to Sene 30, 2002 EC is called the 2002 EC fiscal year.

Summary:

The calendar in use is the Ethiopian (tropical) calendar. This calendar alike the Gregorian calendar is derived from the solar year. The solar year is a period of about 365 ¼ days. For the benefit of human being, men make a year has 365 days for three consecutive years and 366 days once in every four-year. This happened because the sum of the quarter day of the first, second, third and fourth year gives one day. This day is added to the fourth year to give 366 days, and the year is called leap year. This leap year is different from these three consecutive years by having one more ending day of the year. This intern causes the first year is to be different form the next two consecutive years by having one late beginning day. But the second and third year are similar years, in the sense that both of them have identical beginning and ending days. Therefore there are three categories of the calendar year: category one (the first years), category two (the second and third years) and category three (leap year) please refer to annex.The fiscal year is government’s 12 months accounting period: it often does not coincide with the calendar year. In Ethiopia, the fiscal year runs form Hamle 1 to Sene 30. The budget for the forthcoming fiscal year is presented towards the end of Miyazia. The fiscal year that runs form Hamle1, 2001 EC to Sene 30, 2002 EC is called the 2002 EC fiscal year.

Facts about Ethiopian calendarRDF feed

This article uses material from the "Ethiopian calendar" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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