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Enkutatash (New year)

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This festival celebrates both the New Year and the Feast of John the Baptist at the end of the long rains in Spring, when the Highlands become covered in wild flowers. Children dressed in new clothes dance through the villages, distributing garlands and tiny paintings. In the evening every house lights a bonfire and there is singing and dancing.

The day called Enkutatash of Sheba returned from her expensive trip to visit king Solomon in Jerusalem, her chief welcomed her treasury with Enku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since these early times and as the rains come to their sudden end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in green countryside. After dark on New Year eve people light fires outside their houses.

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