Here are 10 interesting facts about Ethiopia that we learned recently:
1. Cradle of Human beings - Ethiopia is the land of the origin of the first human species, that is justified with discover of Lucy, “Lucy” was found in 1974 by an American Paleo Anthropologist and they have been listening to the music called “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds” from where she got her name. Lucy aged 3.2 million years and its scientific name is Australopithecus Afarensis.
2. Ethiopian Calendar - Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, and a 13th month of five days and six days during the leap year. The Ethiopian Calendar is almost eight years behind the Gregorian calendar. (They just celebrated the year 2000 last year)
3. Ethiopian Alphabet and Numbers - Ethiopia is the only African country with its own Alphabet Letters and numbers that traces its origin back to Sabean. The Ethiopian Alphabet consists of 33 letters each with 7 characters. In Earlier times and also currently in rural areas people start school in “Kies Timehrt” and “ Yeneta” is a title given to Ethiopian Traditional primary teachers. Most of the time these primary Alphabet teachers are priests from the Ethiopian Orthodox church.
4. Birth Place of Coffee - Ethiopians have a very beautiful traditional coffee ceremony, its unimaginable for most Ethiopians to start a new day with out several cups of coffee. Coffee is the best drink an Ethiopian family offers to honor guests, as coffee ceremony is the best occasion for a get-together with neighbors and friends. Ethiopian coffee ceremony might have been crated with the discovery of coffee itself in its south western heartland, in particular place called “Kaffa” from which, many experts of the uniquely fragrant and relaxing bean believe, the firm coffee has originated and joined the international lexicon. Coffee, café, etc
5. Amharic Language - Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia, although English, Italian, French and Arabic are also widely spoken. Outside the larger cities and towns, indigenous languages are likely to be spoken - of which there are over eighty, along with some 200 dialects. The most common of these are Oromo, Tigrinya and Somali.
6. Location and Boundary - Ethiopia is strategically located in the Horn of Africa, bordered by the Sudan on the west, Somalia and Djibouti on the East, Eritrea on the North and Kenya on the South. Its proximity to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade.
7. Capital of Ethiopia - Addis Ababa, the largest city that is the seat of the federal government of Ethiopia, lies in the central plateau at an altitude of 2400 meters. Its average temperature is 160c .Addis Ababa was founded in 1887. It is a host to the African Unity (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Several other international organizations have their head quarters and branch offices in the Capital. Addis Ababa is also the center of commerce and industry.
8. Climate - Although Ethiopia lies within 15 degrees North of the Equator, owing to the moderating influence of high altitude, the country enjoys moderate temperature and pleasant climate, with average temperature rarely exceeding 20oc (68oF). The sparsely populated lowlands typically have sub–tropical and tropical climates. At approximately 850mm (34inches), the average annual rainfall for the whole country is considered to be moderate by global standards. In most of the high lands, rainfall occurs in two distinct seasons: the “small rains” during February and March and the “big rains” from June to September.
9. Flag and Emblem - The Ethiopian flag comprises three colors. .In the center there is a national coat of arms .The three colors are set horizontally in equal dimension with Green at the top, Yellow in the middle, and Red at the bottom .- The national coat of arms is a blue circle with depiction; Straight and equal lines of yellow come from all direction and join each other .
A star formed by the straight and equal lines. Yellow rays radiating from the joints of the straight & equal. The national coat of arms on the flag reflects the desire of the nations , nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia ,as well as of its religious communities to live together in unity and equality.
10. Size of Ethiopia - Ethiopia covers an area of 1.14 million square Kilometers (944,000 square miles)
*this info comes to us via websites and books we are currently reading - we are sure some facts may vary depending on what you read :)