ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia â€“ Ethiopians marked the New YearÂ â€śENKUTATASHâ€ť on Saturday with traditional celebrations, although skyrocketing commodity prices put a damper on festivities.
Ethiopiaâ€™s unique calendar is comprised of 12 30-day months and a thirteenth month consisting of only five days, which become six every four years â€” as is the case this Ethiopian leap year. The first of Meskerem â€” the first month in the Ethiopian calendar â€” fell on Saturday, September 12.
In capital Addis Ababa, fireworks lit the midnight sky Friday night, even though, according to prominent theologian Daniel Kibret, â€ścounting down to 00:00 hours doesnâ€™t tally with the Ethiopian system of counting daysâ€ť.
According to Kibret, the day â€” under the traditional system of counting time â€” technically begins at 6 a.m. Dr. Zerihun, another scholar in the field, told Anadolu Agency that Ethiopia â€śmaintains the ancient Julian Calendar, which corresponds with the Egyptian Coptic calendarâ€ť.
â€śCalendars outside Ethiopia and Egypt underwent two revisions,â€ť he explained. â€śIn the second revision, Pope Gregory added eight years to it.â€ť â€śUntil 530AD, the same Julian Calendar system was used,â€ť he added. â€“ Inflation This yearâ€™s New Year celebrations, however, were accompanied by soaring commodity prices.
According to Ethiopiaâ€™s official statistics agency, the inflation rate â€” particularly for food â€” rose to 14.7 percent in August from 13.9 percent in July.
Many of those who visited Shola Gebeya, one of the busiest New Year markets, said food prices â€” especially prices for meat â€” had increased markedly compared to the same period last year. Food associated with Ethiopiaâ€™s New Year generally includes raw meat, stewed and grilled lamb, spicy chicken stew (doro wot) and homemade breads. Source:Â Anadolu Agency
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