Community celebrates Enkutatash, Ethiopian New Year

Traditional music played in Guadalupe Park on Sept.12

Business owner Kokeb Mc Donald showcases her business Reflex Integrations Through Play, an education series that helps children learn through play and reflexes.

By Abyssinia Muhammad
Times Staff

The Ethiopian New Year, Enkutatash, has arrived.

It is one of ancient traditions and new beginnings. The Ethiopian New Year dates back as far as the Queen of Sheba and Menelik The First of the Solomonic Empire.

Ethiopia’s calendar is a 13-month cycle. It is known as a time of new beginnings, rain, blessings, happiness, family and fun.

The new year is celebrated with traditional decorations, spiritual prayers, food, culture, clothing, music and the very essence of the most beautiful cloud of smoke to any Habesha (Ethiopian) the smell of frankincense and myrrh.

“I miss being back home during this time,” said 22-year old Rahael Wolde, an SJCC student, who is studying toward her bachelor’s degree in business. “Nowadays we just celebrate among our friends and community here in San Jose locally, but most importantly I’m just happy that my people have our freedom.”

On Sunday, Sept.12, Guadalupe park was lit. Considering the fact that the Ethiopian Community Center of San Jose has been around for more than 25 years, it helps and supports Ethiopians who are in transition to America, educating and partnering up to deliver the best events and new year’s celebrations.

Many gathered as a community to support each other and enjoy the warm summer weather and music during the event. Colors of the royal Ethiopian flag, gold, green and red, sparked throughout the park, as families came together dancing to the traditional live musicians play.

For more information on how you can get involved with volunteering for next new year’s celebration or any activities within the Ethiopian community, visit Ethiopian Community Services website.