No. I’m not talking about how long it took me to finish the 2016 A to Z Challenge. Yes, I know it’s june. Yes, I know this was only supposed to take up the month of April. I’m keenly aware of that. Thank you for the reminder. But we’re at the homestretch here. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel (and it doesn’t look like it’s the headlight from an oncoming train). So we press on. We press on…
As I was saying,
Y is for Year.
The Ethiopian calendar is a little different from ours. The New Year begins on September 11 (or 12 if it’s a Leap Year).* The first 12 months are 30 days each. That leaves five (or six if it’s a Leap Year) extra days in the Ethiopian calendar. Those extra days combine for a thirteenth month. That’s right. Ethiopia has an extra month.
That’s 13 months of sunshine!
Seriously. That’s a travel slogan of theirs. Ethiopia boasts thirteen months of sunshine. And I think that’s kind of fun.
Not only does their calendar have 13 months, but the years are different, too. I always forget what year it actually is in the Ethiopian calendar, but according to EthiopianCalendar.net, it’s currently 2008 in Ethiopia. So not only do you get 13 months of sunshine in Ethiopia, but you’re also several years younger!**
They also keep track of time differently. But I’ve had several people try to explain it to me, both in Ethiopia and here in the States. I still don’t understand it, honestly. But I’m pretty sure it’s based on when the sun rises. So noon here is 6 a.m. in Ethiopia. I think. That all makes sense. But I can’t really figure out how they talk about time when the sun goes down. Because when I tell Weldu it’s 10 p.m. in Ethiopia, he looks at me like I’m crazy.
Of course, that’s kind of my natural state. He’s not the first person to look at me like I’m crazy.
Ethiopians kind of march to the beat of their own drum. I think that’s partially what people refer to when they talk about Habesha time. The culture has been around for thousands of years, so that just makes sense. And that’s kind of beautiful.
*The Ethiopian calendar is similar to the Julian calendar, unlike the western Gregorian calendar.
**I know you’re not really younger. But it’s fun to think about. Especially since I keep getting older every day.