Ethiopian Culture

Dates of Significance

National Holidays

  • Adwa Victory Day (2nd of March)
  • Day of Lament (28th of March)
  • May Day (1st of May)
  • Ethiopia Patriots’ Victory Day (5th of May)
  • Derg Downfall Day (28th of May)
  • New Year's Day (11th/12th of September)

 

Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Holidays

These Orthodox dates vary depending on the Ethiopian calendar and can interchange between years.

  • Christmas Day – Genna (7th of January)
  • Epiphany – Timket (19th or 20th of January)
  • Good Friday – Siklet (Varies each year)
  • Easter Sunday – Fasika (Varies each year)
  • Ethiopian New Year – Enkutatash (11th or 12th of September)
  • Finding of the True Cross – Meskel (27th or 28th of September)
  • Feast of St. Gabriel – Kulubi (28th of December)

 

Muslim Holidays

The dates of Islamic holidays vary depending on the lunar calendar.

  • Eid ul Fitr – End of Ramadan (Varies each year)
  • Eid al-Adha – Feast of Sacrifice (Varies each year)
  • Mawlid – The Prophet’s Birthday (Varies each year)


Time and Date

Ethiopia uses its own calendar which divides the year into 12 months of 30 days each, with the remaining five (or six days in a leap year) constituting a short 13th month of Pagme. The Ethiopian New Year commences on the 11th or 12th of September in the Gregorian calendar. There is a 7 or 8 year difference from the Gregorian calendar, seven years from September to January 1, and eight years from January 1 until September 11/12.


Locally, many Ethiopians use a different method of keeping time with Sunrise being 12 in the morning and sunset at 12 in the evening. Times are expressed as being "3 in the morning" (approximately 9am GMT+3) or "6 in the evening" (approximately 12am GMT+3). If you are visiting Ethiopia for a meeting or an event it can be important to confirm times to avoid confusion.

Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Ethiopia
  • Population
    105,350,020
    [July 2017 est.]
  • Languages
    Oromo (33.8%)
    Amharic (29.3%)
    Somali (6.2%)
    Tigrinya (5.9%)
    Sidamo (4.0%)
    Wolaytta (2.2%)
    Gurage (2.0%)
    Afar (1.7%)
    Hadiyya (1.7%)
    Other (13.2) - including over 70 other individual languages.
    [Census, 2007]
  • Religions
    Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (43.5%)
    Islam (33.9%)
    Protestant Christianity (18.5%)
    Traditional/Animist Religions (2.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (0.7%)
    Other (0.6%)
    [Census, 2007]
  • Ethnicities
    Oromo (34.4%)
    Amhara (26.9%)
    Somali (6.2%)
    Tigrinya (6.1%)
    Sidama (4.0%)
    Gurage (2.5%)
    Welaita (2.3%)
    Hadiya (1.7%)
    Afar (1.7%)
    Other (14.1%) - including at least 70 other ethnic groups.
    [Census, 2007]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    70
    20
    65
    55
    N.A.
    N.A.
  • Australians with Ethiopian Ancestry
    13,715 [2016 census]
Ethiopians in Australia
  • Population
    11,792
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Ethiopia.
  • Average Age
    35
    [Census 2011]
  • Gender
    Male (48.5%)
    Female (51.5%)
    [Census 2011]
  • Religion
    Islam (23.9%)
    Oriental Orthodox Christianity (23.4%)
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity (18.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (5.4%)
    Other (28.7%)
    [Census 2011]
  • Ancestry
    Ethiopian (59.6%)
    Oromo (9.2%)
    Other (20.4%)
    Not stated (5.5%)
    African (undefined) (5.2%)
    [Census 2011]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Amharic (40.4%)
    Oromo (15.3%)
    English (13.4%)
    Tigrinya (9.6%)
    Other (21.3%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 82.5% speak English fluently.
    [Census 2011]
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (53.1%)
    Western Australia (13.6%)
    New South Wales (13.1%)
    Queensland (8.9%)
    [Census 2011]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (36.7%)
    2001-2006 (30.5%)
    2007-2011 (27.7%)
    [Census 2011]
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/149/et.svg Flag Country Ethiopia