Enkutatash is an annual holiday observed in September, the perennial Bidens macroptera flower is identified with this holiday due to growing densely in its fully maturation in September.
Also calledGift of Jewel
Observed by
SignificanceFirst day of the Ethiopian year
  • Relatives especially family members gathered and eat meals prepared by chicken's meat natively called doro wat.
  • Invitations and wishing farewell to relatives and friends.
  • 11 September
  • 12 September (leap year)
2024 date11 September
Related toNew Year's Day

Enkutatash (Ge'ez: እንቁጣጣሽ) is a public holiday in coincidence of New Year in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It occurs on Meskerem 1 on the Ethiopian calendar, which is 11 September (or, during a leap year, 12 September) according to the Gregorian calendar.


According to Ethiopian tradition, on 11 September Queen of Sheba (Makeda in Ethiopian) returned to Ethiopia from her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem. Her followers celebrated her return by giving her jewels. Hence ‘‘Enkutatash’’ means the ‘‘gift of jewels’’.[1]


This holiday is based on the Ethiopian calendar. It is the Ethiopian New Year.

Large celebrations are held around the country, notably at the Raguel Church on Mount Entoto.[2]

According to InCultureParent, "after attending church in the morning, families gather to share a traditional meal of injera (flat bread) and wat (sauce). Later in the day, young girls donning new clothes, gather daisies and present friends with a bouquet, singing New Year's songs."[3] According to the Ethiopian Tourism Commission, "Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Modern Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated – in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers."[4]

The Ethiopian counting of years begins in the year 8 of the common era. This is because the common era follows the calculations of Dionysius, a 6th-century monk, while the non-Chalcedonian countries continued to use the calculations of Annianus, a 5th-century monk, which had placed the Annunciation of Christ exactly 8 years later. For this reason, on Enkutatash in the year 2016 of the Gregorian calendar, it became 2009 in the Ethiopian calendar.

See also


  1. ^ Firew, Gedef Abawa; Kaliff, Anders (2014). The Source of the Blue Nile: Water Rituals and Traditions in the Lake Tana Region. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 91–95. ISBN 9781443867917.
  2. ^ "Time and dates in Ithiopia [sic]". Rasta Ites. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11". InCultureParent. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  4. ^ Ethiopian Tourism Commission (16 November 2002). "Ethiopian Festivals". Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.