Ethiopian Holidays

For the countless impoverished Ethiopians, there are no holidays, or at least, there isn’t a lot of reason to celebrate. But Ethiopia does have holidays and people do celebrate as best they can. Many people are devout in their faith, whether they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, and they wholeheartedly take part in religious holidays. Here we will discuss official public holidays.

Ethiopia Holidays (2016)

September 11, New Year’s Day: Always on September 11 except every four years when there is a leap year and the new year begins on September 12. The next leap year is 2019.

September 13, Eid al-Adha: The Islamic celebration of Ibrahim’s willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ishmael, observed by Muslims the world over. The date changes each year.

December 12, The Prophet’s Birthday: An Islamic celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammed. The date of this holiday changes each year.

January 7, Christmas Day: The Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. In Ethiopia, this holiday is always on January 7 (Gregorian calendar).

January 19, Epiphany: An orthodox Christian celebration of the baptism of Jesus. Depending on the year, Epiphany is celebrated on the 19th or the 20th.

March 2, Adwa Victory Day: An Ethiopia holiday celebrating victory over Italy. It is always celebrated on this date.

April 29, Good Friday: A day to remember what led to the crucifixion of Jesus. The date varies.

May 1, International Labor Day and Easter: International Labor Day is to celebrate workers and it is always on May 1. Easter is a Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The date on which Easter falls varies.

May 28, Derg Downfall Day: The country’s National Day, this Ethiopian holiday celebrates the end of the Derg being in power, which happened in 1991. It is always held on this date.

July 7, Eid-al-Fitr: An Islamic celebration marking the end of Ramadan. The date varies.

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