Ethiopia enjoys 13 months of sunshine and a wonderful weather throughout a year.  Not only it enjoys a good sunshine but also a moderate climate with an average 25 degree Celsius temperature.

It may surprise you to learn that in Ethiopia there are 13 months. Yes there are 13 months in which the last month is comprised of 5 days and every leap year it becomes 6 days. This last month is called Pagumen a word its roots goes back to an ancient Greek. But the rest of the 12 months are uniform 30 days.

The country had celebrated its millennium four years ago. There is an interesting and popular tourism slogan that says “come and be seven years younger”.

This is because Ethiopian calendar is based on Julian calendar which is 7 years behind the Gregorian one.

The dates are also seven days behind the European one. Even the time is not the same as the European one. The day is uniformly divided into 12 hours of daylight and night time. The time is seven hours behind the European one and 1 O’clock starts at the sunrise and 12 O’clock is at the sun set.

The New Year begins on Sep 11 and every leap year it begins on the 12th. So September is the first month and Pagumen, the 5 or 6 days after August is be the last month of the year.

Ethiopia has two main seasons. The dry season starts on mid September and stays until mid June. The rainy season stays for about three months starting from mid June and stays till mid September. However there are rains that stay for a short duration like for a week or two.

An interesting thing about the Ethiopia’s weather is that there is always combination of a good deal of sunshine and rain in the middle of rainy season. It is common to see the sunshine and rain interchanging one another in a day.

If it rains in the morning, you can expect to see a bright sunshine in the afternoon and vise versa.

To start with, September is the greenest month of the year in which most part of the country have had a good deal of rain for the past two months. For most Ethiopians, September is an ideal time to plan life afresh as it is the start of the year. School year also starts at September

It is time in which the entire field gets greener and the rainy season ends and the sun looks brighter than ever. You will like September for the aroma coming out of the fields and the green landscapes you will see especially if you are traveling. This green view will stays until November unchanged.

October is called Tikimt in Amharic perhaps the coldest month of the year. There is an Ethiopian proverb or saying about this month, “Be-Tikimt A’and Atint” meaning “In October, you need a bone/marrow”.

This has a double meaning like most proverbs told in Ethiopia. One  which is the direct meaning;- you need a meat and the bone marrow in October to get a sufficient calorie whilst the indirect meaning (which is the gold) is you need to brace yourself with a woman (as is made out of your bone).

It is advisable to bring a warm jacket if you are coming in this month to visit Ethiopia even though there is no or little rain. You can not underestimate the cold weather during this time of the year.

However, aside from the cold weather, the scenery looks so stunning and very green which will give you a pleasant experience especially if you are traveling by car. Ethiopia has a dramatic landscape that every visitor gets impressed at.

A major event in September other than the New Year is the Meskel festival which is held on September 26/27 every year. It is the most colorful festival after Timket which is held in January. Best places for Meskel are Addis, Lalibela, Gonder and Axum.

There are also other colorful events in the Christian highland in Axum at Tsion Mariam church. On Nov 28th every year there is a huge celebration at Axum Tsion (St Mary Church) in Axum northern tip of Ethiopia.

It is very colorful as ten of thousands of pilgrims flock to the church from the different parts of the country. See you on my next posts.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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