Hundreds celebrated the Ethiopian new year at the annual Ethiopia Fest in the ”Windy City,” hosted by the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC)
By Hannah Gebresilassie (WSIL TV 3) |
CHICAGO, Ill.―Ethiopians around the globe celebrated a new year, also known as Enkutatash (“Ethiopian New Year”), on Sept. 11.
While it’s 2017 in most of the world, it’s 2010 in Ethiopia. That’s because the country uses an ancient calendar, which is about seven years behind the calendar more commonly used worldwide.
“The beauty of it is we get to share it with the world,” said Sela Gebremeskal, a first generation Ethiopian-American.
Hundreds celebrated the new year at the annual Ethiopia Fest in the ”Windy City,” hosted by the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC).
“It’s so cool to see as a young adult, we are really bringing our traditions,” said Samira Abderahman, vice president of the ECAC Auxiliary Board. “We’re really proud of what we’ve done and we’re working to preserve it. To see even though our parents did migrate over here, to show that no, this is important to us.”
Ethiopia has over 80 ethnic groups, and Samira said the festival tries to bring many of them together.
“The thing about the new year is that it really just marks the change of the year,” Samira said. “And no matter what tribal, religious association, everybody comes out to celebrate that.”
One performer flew all the way from Los Angeles to be a part of the celebration.
“Now we’re seeing a whole different community come up and live beautifully and be able to celebrate our culture,” said Robel Ketema, an artist based out of California. “It’s an honor to be a part of it, and I’m really happy.”