Melkam Gena

That's Merry Christmas, in Amharic (the primary language spoken in Ethiopia)!

Because Ethiopia follows its own ancient calendar, Christmas falls on Jan. 7 and their new year isn't until Sept. 11. Ethiopia's calender is based on the Gregorian calender, but is actually seven to eight years behind the Gregorian Calendar, owing to alternate calculations in determining the date of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus (www.selmata.net).

Ethiopians celebrate Christmas much different than Westerners. No Santa Clause. No excessive gift-giving. If gifts are given, they're to children and are usually small gifts of clothing. The main observances of include a Christmas Eve church service (and often fasting), as well as a special service on Christmas day. A feast is also observed on Christmas day, celebrating the birth of Jesus.

We're observing Genna tomorrow night in our home with friends in our community who have Ethiopian/African America-adoption connections.


Daphne said...

Melkam Gena!

Laura said...

I wish we would start celebrating in a more reverent way here in America, sometimes!!! That sounds beautiful! Melkam Gena!

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