Ethiopia Celebrates the New Year

Ethiopian New YearEthiopians on Wednesday ushered in the new year of 2006. The Ethiopian calendar, contrary to other universally recognized calendars, indicates that there are 13 months in a year.

The president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), Girma Woldegiorgis, wished citizens of the country a happy new year stating that he hoped the new year would bring with it peace and prosperity.

The president also announced that his government had pardoned 458 inmates. He termed the pardons as “an indication of the progress registered in the building of the nation’s democratic and justice system.”

He urged former inmates to assist the newly released group integrate into the community and contribute to national development.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wished Ethiopians living abroad and foreigners living in Ethiopia a prosperous new year. The ministry expressed hope that Ethiopians in the Diaspora would increase their support towards the country’s development efforts in the year 2006.

The ministry said that it hoped in the New Year, the country’s efforts to bring lasting peace and stability in the region would bear fruit.

New Year celebrations in Ethiopia are mainly a family affair where green grass is spread on the floor of their houses to signify a celebratory mood and traditional coffee brewed all day long. The New Year is celebrated by both Muslims and Christians.