PAGUMIENE: a Month of Mercy, Blessing, Transition in Ethiopia

The 13th month of PAGUMIENE is transition and preparation moment for the New Year celebration and it is a time of mercy of people who were in a lengthy wrangling.

Ethiopian calendar has 13 months a year, the 13th month commonly known as PAGUMIENE, which its name derived from Ge'ez language meaning of extra month.

Ethiopia's first month of the year is September and the last (13th) one is PAGUMIENE, which comes after August. Each year has 12 months of 30 days plus five or six days in a leap year.

This distinctively short but engaging month of PAGUMIENEis traditionally considered as a period of forgiveness, blessing as well as transitional moment for the coming New Year.

The shower of rain during these days is unique and particular as it is considered as Holy Water.

In the rural areas of the country, followers of the Ethiopian orthodox church in particular and Ethiopian peoples in general wash their body by traveling to nearby rivers early in the morning in all the days of PAGUMIENE.

During this month peoples stand under the pouring rain to get the blessing and even save it in a container.

Memher (Gospel Teacher in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church), Daniel Seyfemickael, told ENA that Ethiopian calendar is developed by the combined effort of Ethiopian astronomers to fit the bill for seasonal changes.

Ethiopian calendar is unique from others in that the calendar is developed based on Ethiopia's geographical location, the changing seasons and natural occurrences. Religious norms, the people's lifestyle and civilization, governance, social artistic and other phenomenon considered, Daniel said.

It shows Ethiopians are one of the early civilized people having the ability to aware and predict natural occurrences and set solutions for the phenomenon, he added.

The 13th month PAGUMIENE often called extra month, spiritual as well as cultural activities has been observed such as peoples wash their body in the river, praying to the God, and elders negotiate peoples quarreled, he explained.

As it is a transition moment for the New Year, either spiritually or socially it is the time that peoples give gratitude to their God by continuing the good activities of the past year and leaving the evil one. During Pagumiene, elders in the urban and country side are working in creating peace among peoples in quarrel, he noted.

Mayble Frew, a resident in Addis Ababa, said PAGUMIENE is eve of the New Year in which peoples get prepared for welcoming the New Near.

There are traditional and religious norm in rural and urban areas of the country in these five or six days that individuals visit people in detention, visit peoples who are sick, helping people in need and getting ready for the new year with sanguine new ideas and energy, he added.

According to Priest Senay Kinde, PAGUMIENE is an exceptional month that has a special place by Ethiopians.

In our country Ethiopia, Pagumiene, spiritually and culturally, has a special place in the minds of Ethiopian. It is a transition period that people set a new vision for the upcoming year, Priest Kinde said.

Reports indicated that Ethiopian calendar is usually seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian (Western) and Eastern Orthodox Church calendars during September and December and eight years and four months behind during January and August.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency