Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcome 2009! (sniffle sniffle cough cough) and Melkam Genna!

The new year didn't exactly start out with a bang... more like a sneeze. We have all be fighting off various ailments for the last few weeks - no one has remained completely unscathed. As a result, plenty of things have fallen by the wayside, blogging included!

I was actually feeling somewhat ambitious last weekend and was going to load some of my favorite pics of 2008, but I blogger wouldn't take them! I took that as a sign to give up and go to bed. :) I'm easily dissuaded I guess.

So, rather than going over all the happenings of the last few weeks, we might as well just move forward. Oh, and before I forget:

Melkam Genna!!!

Today is Christmas in Ethiopia! We had planned on doing something to celebrate today and things sort of fell apart. :( I think we are going to "celebrate" on Friday instead. Not exactly the same thing... but better than nothing. And I am reasonably confident that the ET restaurant and/or grocery store will be open so we can get some injera! I'm not sure they would be open today and we didn't plan ahead! So, doro and tibbs await on Friday. Yum. I would like to make plans for a better "annual" celebration from here on out though. We don't do well with last minute - things tend to fall apart. :(

So why is Christmas today? Ethiopians use the Julian Calendar, which is different than the calendar we recognize in the U.S. As such, "new year" takes place on September 11 rather than January 1. Genna/Christmas falls on January 7. Ethiopians that do practice the Christan faith (50%+?) are Orthodox Christan and Jan 7 is the day of celebration for Orthodox Christians. I honestly do not know if this is simply because of the different calendar or I have also heard it is because Orthodox Christians celebrate the visit of the Three Wise Men, rather than the "birth" of Jesus. I should really probably figure this out using a source that is not Wikipedia ...

As a side note, legend has it that the king bearing frankincense was King Balthazar of Ethiopia. So that's cool.

For more information on Genna (Christmas), see here, here, and here (also info on other holidays). And see here for some great photos.


Alyssa the Ragamuffin said...

Sorry you're sick! We've got that all the way in Phoenix. Must be sweeping the nation.... Bleck.

Mindy said...

Thanks for the links to the great info! I had to check it all out and print it all off for future reference!

Denise said...

It's a fun holiday to celebrate and I hope you can make a go of it on Friday. We are going to make it an annual tradition for us, it was fun this year!

Farmboy and Buttercup said...

Ah, that's why I saw Mark at GoJo's on Friday.

I totally need to be much more proactive about embracing their Ethiopian culture. I have done a terrible job so far, but have given myself lots of slack since we are new to all this.

I do LOVE this post and it has challenged me to think of ways to be more culturally sensitive.