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Parallel Worlds: It’s 2022 in America, But 2015 in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the only African country that isn’t colonized.

Image: Shutterstock/Karin88888

Welcome to the parallel universe! As we get ready to celebrate the new year and make our long lists of new year resolutions for 2023, Ethiopians have already celebrated their new year this past September!

What’s so astounding about this seven-year time difference is that you can simultaneously be 27 years old in America and 20 years old in Ethiopia! Moreover, throughout the past few decades, scientists and research experts have argued that time is an illusion. Ethiopia’s custom-made world has proven this theory to be correct. 

Ethiopian Calendar

Ethiopian Calendar. Image: Shutterstock/Ethiopian Society

First and foremost, it must be noted that Ethiopia is the only African country that isn’t colonized, making it no surprise why Ethiopians weren’t forced to adapt to the Gregorian calendar like other African countries. As we know, a calendar is a series of pages covering one year, referring to the days of each month to the days of the week.

So the question is, is the Ethiopian calendar “Ge’ez” really seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar, or are Ethiopians the true gatekeepers of time? Merriam-Webster defines a gatekeeper as someone who controls access. So, could the reason for Ethiopia remaining uncolonized be because the country is determined to protect access to the real timing system?

Great Temple of the Moon in Yeha, Ethiopia. Image: Shutterstock/Artush

Furthermore, the Ge’ez calendar is a solar calendar that tracks the cycle of the moon, whereas the Gregorian calendar follows the cycle of the sun. In America, the new year begins on January 1st, but in Ethiopia, the new year starts on September 11th or 12th, depending on leap years. In addition, the Ethiopian calendar, Ge’ez, consists of 13 months, in which 12 of those months are 30 days, and the last month is five days or six days if it’s a leap year.


What The Ethiopian Calendar Looks Like In America

Ge’ez Calendar Month: Gregorian Calendar Month & Dates

1. Meskerem (New Year): September 11 – October 10

2. Tikimt: October 11 – November 9

3. Hidar: November 10 – December 9

4. Tahsas: December 10- January 8

5. Tir: January 9 – February 7

6. Yakatit: February 8 – March 9

7. Maggabit: March 10 – April 8

8. Miyazya: April 9 – May 8

9. Ginbot: May 9 – June 7

10. Sene: June 8 – July 7

11. Hamle: July 8 – August 6

12. Nehasa: August 7 – September 6

13. Pagume: September 6 – September 10 

YouTube/BBC News Africa

Ethiopia: Ark of The Covenant

Christian priest in the Lalibela church in Ethiopia where believers perform prayers and offerings. Image: Shutterstock/Javier Ballester

Religion plays a fundamental role in Ethiopia. It has the world’s oldest and most complete bible, which is actually 800 years older than the King James Version, and it even includes the Book of Enoch! According to Ethiopian tradition, the Ark of the Covenant is preserved in the ancient holy city of Aksum, making it no surprise why the beginning of the Ge’ez calendar is based on the birth of Jesus.

Additionally, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church believes that God created the world 5,550 years before the birth of Christ, which is why Ethiopians use the incarnation era to indicate the year. What’s also interesting about the Ge’ez calendar is that Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is celebrated on January 7th, whereas in America, it’s celebrated on December 25th!

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Written By

Graduate student at Liberty University, Master of Arts' in Mass Communication.


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