Public Holidays & Vacation in Ethiopia

Public Holydays & The Ethiopian calendar Annunciation

Time Flies but we are the pilots

I remember in our early days as a freelance tour guide, a couple from Europe arrive at the bus station in Addis Ababa 6 hours late than the departure hour, confused by the Ethiopian calendar to defiantly miss their bus which intended to bring them from Addis Ababa to our main office in Mekele. In which we had to make some adjustment to the itinerary for the next day to make sure there 4 Days Danakil Trip be a success. The tour went well except that it was extended for one more day. You can put the blame on us. But I assume this happens to 100reds who visit Ethiopia, not only with a bus but mainly with appointments and dates with the locals.


The entire life style of Ethiopians function in a local calendar, the gov, business, collages, appointments, transport, farming, schools and ETC. the only Ethiopian institution that counts with the world is the ‘Ethiopian Airlines’ and yours sincerely ‘Great Ethiopian Tours’.

What time is it in Ethiopia? See chart comparing


11:06 AM (GMT+3) 05:06 AM Ethiopian
Sunday Sunday
May 14 May 6
5th month 9 month
2023 2015
12 months 13 months


This is the timing and as you can clearly see, Ethiopia is in 2015, it is 8 years late reminding us 8 years back or you can say time traveling. But why this is the way it is?

Why the Ethiopian Calendar?

Many can say their own versions into what happened to the Ethiopian calendar, but here is the most reliable one

By the time the eastern Orthodox Coptic church separated from the Roman catholic church in the 11 century one of the debated issues were The Time. You see the church and Christians worldwide believes that Adam and Eve were created 8000 years ago and dwelled in Aden |heaven| for 7 years but then they ate the fruit of knowledge trespassing Gods orders then he |God| kick them out of Aden to Planet earth.

Well, Adam and Eve made it to planet earth after 7 years in Aden. The thing in here is that at the 11 centuries during the debate the Coptic Orthodox church said the time must cunt the years Adam and Eve spent in Aden |heaven| where as the catholic church insisted that the count must begin from the time Adam and Eve arrived on Planet earth.

There you go. That is how the Grigorian calendar differs from the Ethiopian calendar by 7 years.

 Ethiopian Public Holidays 

That said Lets as see public holydays in Ethiopia.

September 11 Ethiopian New Year

September 26 The finding of the True Cross (Meskal)

Jan 8 Ethiopian Christmas

Jan 20 Ethiopian Epiphany

Mar 2 Victory of Adwa

April 25 Ethiopian Good Friday

April 27 Ethiopian Easter

May 1 International Labour Day

May 5 Ethiopian patriots’ victory day

May 28 Downfall of the Dergue Regime

Aug 23 Ashenda is ladies holyday in the Tigray Region