When many people think of Ethiopia, they think of the ancient archaeological finds, the bustling city of Addis Ababa where life is lived on the streets, or the rock-cut Christian churches of Lalibela still standing since the 12th–13th centuries. But, keep reading…here are a few things you may not know:
Many of us rely on that first cup of coffee to get us going. We have Ethiopia to thank for this! As the story goes, a long, long time ago, a goat herder saw his flock eating a certain plant, after which they were noticeably more energetic. He gave the fruit a nibble himself…and the coffee industry was born.
Many cultures have their own calendars instead of the Western Gregorian calendar. And most follow the ’12 months to a year format. Not Ethiopia! Each year in the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months with 30 days. The last month, called “Pagume,” has five days (or six on leap years.) Ethiopia computed the birth of Jesus Christ believing that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years, and therefore, Ethiopia has a different year than the Gregorian calendar, as well. They’re seven years behind, so this year in the United States is 2022. In Ethiopia, it’s only 2015.
Finally, Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country, is the only country in Africa that has never been colonized. On March first, almost 125 years ago, an army of civilians defended themselves against the Italians thereby allowing Ethiopia to be recognized as an independent state. During World War II, Italy again occupied Ethiopia but never established control.
There are so many reasons to love Ethiopia! Today’s blog post is a quick tour of a few of the MANY special characteristics that shape Ethiopia.