Category Archives: Festivals

Melkam Addis Amet – Happy New Year 2008

Today is New Year’s Day – Enkutatash – in the Ethiopian calendar and the year beginning is 2008. Normally new year is on 11 September but this year is a leap year. We wish all our students of Amharic in London and all Ethiopians a very happy new year.
The Ethiopic calendar has 12 months of 30 days each and it has a short 13th month, called Pagume (ጳጉሜ), which is usually 5 days long but is 6 days in a leap year. The Ethiopic calendar follows a calculation by Annianus of Alexandria in about 400AD about the date of Jesus’ annunciation, while the Gregorians follow Dionysius Exiguuus in 525AD, who put it 8 years earlier – that’s why if you start to attend Amharic lessons in London with Learn Amharic UK you could be 7 or 8 years younger.
The first day of the new year is 1 Mäskäräm (መስከረም)).
The Ethiopian calendar also has ages set by the gospel writers, so this is the age of Mathew. In the words of our Amharic language tutor: “Enkuan le 2008 inna le Zemene Matteos be selam aderresacho”.

Enkutatash – Happy New Year 2008!

“Heaven and Earth” documentary

Worshipper (credit film "Heaven and Earth")
Worshipper (credit film “Heaven and Earth”)

A documentary film “Heaven & Earth”, which was directed by Mackonen Michael, was screened by SOAS, University of London, earlier this month. Ethiopian film and Amharic culture is very interesting to students learning Amharic in London.
You can watch the trailer or buy or rent the film here.
It tells and shows 1,000 years or more of Ethiopian monasteries, monastic culture and ecclesiastical education. It presents the development of indigenous Christianity in an African setting, showing modern worshippers carrying on the hopes and faith directly handed down from an ancient African civilization.
It was produced by Mack Films in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Ethiopia, UNESCO, Ethiopian Air Lines & SOAS.
Director Mackonen Michael is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the BBC World Service and has produced several documentary films and radio programmes about culture in Africa. Michael also won a prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for his radio documentary “Bridging the Gap” about the lives of immigrants in the UK. The film counters stereotypes that Africa as a dark continent in need of enlightenment by outside forces.
SOAS says it is the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Learn Amharic UK teaches students from beginner to advanced Amharic language, mostly through evening classes in central London.