Ethiopia is a lovely country in African. Aside being the oldest country in the continent, it is one of the two African countries not subjected to colonial rule even after the Italians tried twice.

What else do you think you know about Ethiopia?


1. They are still in 2012.

It’s 2020 but you will be shocked to find out Ethiopia is still stuck in 2012.

Well, this is not as a result of some science slowing down its clock but due to the country’s calendar system.

It uses the Ethiopian calender rather than the Gregorian calendar. The Ethiopian calender is a solar calendar based on the time it takes the earth to make one full orbit around the sun.

The calendar has an additional month to sum it up to 13 instead of 12 months. While the first 12 months consist of 30 days, the 13th month has just 5 days and 6 days in leap years.

If taken into consideration mathematically, the country is about 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar which is commonly used in the world. So why the rest of us are in 2020 already, it appears as if they are still in 2012 which is based on their own type of calender.

The nation’s new year usually falls in September.

2. Ethiopian time system.

Having a different calender may not seem weird as Saudi Arabia and Israel have their own Islamic and Jewish calenders too. But how about having your own time?

Ethiopia calculates its time differently which makes some logical sense.

The country does not observe the daylight saving time but a 12-hour clock.

According to Ethiopian time, day begins at dawn which is usually around 1:00 a.m in the morning in a 12-hour clock while night starts from 12:00 dusk to 11:59.

If you find yourself in Ethiopia, you may have to find out the actual time for your meeting otherwise you may arrive late.

3. The spiritual homeland of Rastafarian Movement.

While it is true that the Rastafarian movement started in Jamaica, its spiritual homeland is Ethiopia.

During the slave trade era, the place where slaves were kept was called Babylon.

The slaves felt oppressed by the whites and in the 1930s there was a prophecy by Marcus Garvey that a black king from Africa will redeem Babylon and take them back to Africa. Not long after, Emperor Haile Selassie 1 was crowned as the king of Ethiopia and the slaves believed it was a fulfilment of that prophesy.

The name rastafari takes it origin from Haile Selassie (born Lij Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael).

He is regarded as Jah Rastafari. (Black messiah)

4. Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee.

An Ethiopian goat herder, Kaldi noticed his goats were chewing red berries from a particular plant.

The goats became hyperactive after eating the berries and Kaldi got curious.

He thereafter tried the berries himself and discovered he felt more energetic.

He took some to an Islamic monk in a monastery and like the saying goes – the rest became history, coffee was born.

5. Bull jumping to prove manhood.

The Hamar people in Ethiopia are famously know for their bull jumping practice.

Young boys have to undergo some form of initiation to prove their transition from adolescent to adulthood.

A young boy is stripped naked, made to run, jump and land on the back of a bull.

He then repeats same on several bulls lined up together. If the boy is unsuccessful at it, he is taunted.