You heard us right. Ethiopia follows its own calendar that marks the birth of Jesus as seven years later than the American (Gregorian) calendar - that means today, September 10th, marks the first day of 2012 for Ethiopians. Enkutatash is a day of celebration and renewal, most often spent with family cooking a large meal of injera (flat bread) and wat (stew), drinking coffee, and performing cultural dances. Enkutatash also marks the end of the rainy season in Ethiopia, where nearly 80% of the population earns their livelihood from agriculture.
Our US Operations Coordinator, Selam - who is Ethiopian - reflects on the holiday:
"Growing up Enkutatash a.k.a Ethiopian New Year was one of my favorite holidays because the new year makes you start fresh with new hope and ambitious plans. It is also the end of two months of rainy season and you see yellow daisies everywhere. I remember me and my siblings would prepare cards and give them to our family members and they would give us money in return.
The most memorable time is getting together with my family members. Everyone sits together for a meal and enjoys my mom's cooking. Of course, my mom is the best cook, so she will start preparing for the holiday a month earlier. The fun part is receiving Gursha (the act of feeding each other by hand) from my mom and dad. At the end of the meal a traditional coffee ceremony will be performed, where all of us will share our new year's resolution."
At the Parker Clay factory, all of our employees receive this entire week as paid time off. Our team in Ethiopia works incredibly hard each day to handcraft the pieces that you purchase, and we are thankful to celebrate with them as they celebrate their New Year! We invite you to join the celebration as we work to push the fashion industry in a positive direction, where employees are not just allowed, but are encouraged to take time off to be with friends and family.
Hit play below to learn more about our impact in Ethiopia.