Bruce Brekhus (2023)

Happy New Year 2016! We made it through 2015! The year 2016 arrived on September 12, 2023. Confused? So am I. The Ethiopian calendar consists of 13 months. The first 12 months are 30 days and the 13th month is 5 or 6 days depending on the year. The current year is 7 years behind the Gregorian calendar. If you want to be 7 years younger, come to Ethiopia.

We celebrated New Year’s at Bingham Academy with a traditional coffee and popcorn ceremony. Some of the workers sang traditional songs while dressing in traditional clothing.

School girls often sing for people on the streets of Addis Ababa during the New Year’s holiday. People traditionally give them bread or money that they can use for school fees and school supplies. These girls sang their traditional New Year’s song to me and others outside of a local shop.

I went to the center of the city on New Year’s Eve with a few friends from church and school. I’m not sure how it happened, but we got involved in the holiday songs and dances. At one point, I was using a long pole someone gave me to dance/fight with the others. We were banging the poles together as in a choreographed play or movie. None of my friends or I knew how we got into this situation, but we all had a good time. I tried my best not to stand out during the celebration, but due to my pale skin, I couldn’t easily hide.