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Ethiopia: Fascinating facts about country that has hottest place on earth

Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the horn of Africa sharing boarders with Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan.

The capital of Ethiopia is is Addis Ababa meaning ‘New Flower’ and is almost centre of the country. Ethiopia is second most populous country in Africa with over 110 million occupants. The country has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres.

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Ethiopia tops among the most oldest countries and boasts of landscapes, deserts, volcanoes and highlands

Here are some amazing facts about the country.

Oldest Country in Africa

Ethiopia was named Africa’s oldest independent country owing to the fact that human life has existed for millions of years. This was proved by skeletal fragments uncovered in the country. A 3.2 billion-year-old hominin (early human) fossil was found by paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson in 1964 and was an ancient human skeleton ever unearthed. Generally Ethiopia was founded in 980 BC.

Independence

Ethiopia boasts of complete independence. Ethiopia remains only country that has never been colonized by any colonial nations. Italy managed to occupy the country between 1936-1941 but Ethiopians kept fighting untill they emerged winners. It was occupied for the six years under the Italian dictator Mussolini. It was when Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie intervened and called for assistance in getting rid of the Italians and re-establishing independence to the League of Nations. He gained support from the U.S. and Russia and in 1941 the country regained its independence and Selassie restored on the throne.

Rastafarian culture

Rastafarianism started in Ethiopia in the 1930s. Photo courtesy

While most people think Rastafarianism started in Jamaica it actually started in Ethiopia. Actually ras’ is a refers similarly to chief while ‘tafari’ was the first name of Emperor Haile Selassie I. Rasta also Rastafarian or Rastafari is a religious and social movement that begun in Ethiopia in the 1930s.

Rastafarians highly respect Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I who started the movement since the 1930s and 1974. Selassie is highly respected by the movements followers who see him as the second coming of Jesus and Jah’s incarnate who came back to redeem black people. Rastafarians highly respect Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I who started the movement since the 1930s and 1974. Selassie is highly respected by the movements followers who see him as the second coming of Jesus and Jah’s incarnate who came back to redeem black people.

They wear dreadlocks and smoke cannabis for ritualistic purposes. To prove it, the Ethiopian flag look same as the Rastas flag.

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is the highest city in Africa. The city is at 2,355 metres above sea level and is home to African Union and headquarters for United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Addis Ababa is also the fourth largest city in Africa. Addis Ababa translates to ‘New Flower’ in Amharic.

Coffee

Coffee

Coffee was born in Ethiopia thanks to some goats. It is reported that a shepherd during his normal herding noticed his goats had a rapport from berries of a certain tree. The goats could be so energetic and lack sleep whenever they consumed the berries. He got curious and wanted to know more about the fruits. He turned the berries into juice and consumed. It was when he noticed that it kept him alert at night. He shared the drink with his fellow minks at the monastery and coffee became popular.

National festivals

Timkat is an incredibly important and spiritual occasion in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy

The beautiful country observed several festivals. The major one is called Timket, is a three-day annual festival that honours the baptism of Jesus Christ in river Jordan. During the festival the paint the streets with Green, yellow, and red, the flag’s colour. Everyone dresses in traditional white clothes. The priest carries lavish and ornate umbrellas that the are meant to protect them from the sun add another burst of colour amongst a sea of white.

Danakil depression

The Danakil depression in Ethiopia is known to be the most hottest place on earth. It’s temperatures rise up to 34.4 degrees Celsius. The place is also extremely dry as it receives only 100 and 200mm of rain per year. It is most called the cradle of humanity following multiple discoveries ancient hominin fossils over the years.

Calendar

Ethiopian people run their own calendars. Interestingly their calendar has thirteen months per years. This makes Ethiopia seven years behind the Gregorian calendar. They generally ignored changes brought about by the Roman church to its ancient calendar in 525 AD. The country celebrates Christmas in January 7.

Time

Ethiopia not only has unique calendar but also measures the hours of a day in a unique manner. The country generally does not follow daylight saving time. Her time starts at 1 O’clock and sets at 12 O’clock. Thereafter the night time hour begins at dusk 6:00pm (EAT) and ends at dawn 5:59am (EAT).

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Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila
While receiving medical treatment in England, he competed in archery and table tennis Photo: Courtesy

An Ethiopian National identified and Abebe Bikila became the first black African to win gold in the Olympics in 1960. Abebe is said to have scooped the medal while running barefooted. Four years later, the athlete won the Tokyo Olympics, bagging a world record title of the first ever person to win Olympic marathon twice. The legendary athlete succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage in October, 1973 at age 41 four years after the road accident.

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