You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Looking forward to 2016? The official calendar in Ethiopia, calculated on a birthdate for Jesus in A.D. 9, and celebrating the new year in September, runs seven to eight years behind the rest of the world. –

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

If you thought the whole world used the same calendar, you guessed incorrectly. Surprisingly, the country of Ethiopia holds to a different calendar, most commonly known as the Ge’ez calendar. And they are about seven to eight years behind most of the rest of the world.

This year on September 12, Ethiopia will celebrate their New Year. But in 2024, which is a leap year, they will celebrate their New Year on September 11. And it will not become 2024 for them, it will become 2016! It all has to do with how different people calculated the birth of Christ many years ago and which calendar they chose to use.

In 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII made some changes to the Julian calendar, he took out about 11 days. Then this calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar, after him. Most of the world chose to adopt this calendar over time. 

However, because Ethiopia was not ruled by a “colonial power or influences of the Roman church,” it was not affected by outside trends and pressures. So they kept their calendar as it always was, established in Christianity, upon the basis that Jesus was born about 8 BC, and counting forward from there. This, of course, was off about eight years from the Gregorian calendar, and this is why there are so many years difference between them.

The calendar that Ethiopia uses also has thirteen months instead of twelve. Twelve of those months have 30 days. The thirteenth month is made up of five days, called epagomenal days. But every four years, a leap-year cycle, a sixth day is included without fail. “The four-year leap-year cycle is associated with the four Evangelists: the first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named the John-year, followed by the Matthew-year, and then the Mark-year. The year with the sixth epagomenal day is traditionally designated as the Luke-year.”

The Ge’ez calendar has served Ethiopia for a very, very long time. Well, no matter which of these calendars you may use, they are all based on the wonderful fact that Jesus came to our world to save us and bring us hope! In Acts 8:26-39 you can read the exciting story of a very important Ethiopian who was the treasurer to Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians back in that day. So, like the Ethiopian of the Bible, let’s exercise our faith in Jesus today and look forward to His soon coming!

Below is an example of what the Ethiopian calendar looks like.

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