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Ethiopians are marking the start of a new year, 2014 with feasting in many homes amidst coronavirus as well as war and hunger crises raging from the northern part of the country.

Not only is the Ethiopian years 13 months. Its calendar is also seven years and eight months behind the Western calendar, making today Saturday the start of 2014.

This is because it calculates the birth year of Jesus Christ differently. When the Catholic Church amended its calculation in 500 AD, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church did not.

So the new year falls on 11 September in the Western calendar, or 12 September in leap years, at the start of spring.

In the Eastern African country, 12 months each have 30 days and the 13th – the last of the year – has five or six days, depending on whether it’s a leap year.

Time is also counted differently – with the day divided into two 12-hour slots starting from 06:00, which would make both midday and midnight six o’clock in Ethiopian time.

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