Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash)
Enkutatash means the “gift of jewels”. When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive trip to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early time and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside.
But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Today’s Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal New Year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated – in lieu or the traditional bouquet of flowers.