You do not need to look at the calendar to check the arrival of the Ethiopian New Year. Nature itself would tell you. Huge but silent bright white clouds would hang over the azure sky, hills and valleys would turn yellow with the seasonally ubiquitous daisies, the smell of the mixed odor of the fresh aromatic grasses and flowers fills the air, the birds, many of which were hibernating and subdued by dark cold climate for 2 months, began to ululate loudly with various melodies celebrating the beginning of the end of the rainy season. Especially birds like whydah and red Bishop would be seen in transformed flamboyant feathers.
When Europeans and others celebrate New Year with the backdrop of dark skies, lifeless trees, artificial fireworks, whistling wind, biting cold, and hills of snow, we here celebrate it surrounded by delighting flowers, singing birds, lush green trees, and temperate weather, and thrilling sunshine. What a contrast!!
The sight and sounds of the arrival of the New Year ignite the desire for rejuvenation of the spirit, the urge to look at our life from a fresh perspective, and even to change our lifestyle or set new plans with pledges of a New Year resolutions and amendments to our past mistakes. People, both young and old, congratulate each other for making it to another new year with the grace of the Creator, saying in Amharic "Enquan aderseh".
New Year messages of prominent religious leaders quoted by ENA stress that everyone should strive to start the New Year with a new plan by considering it as a golden opportunity for change. The religious leaders have advised fellow Ethiopians to contribute their share in maintaining solidarity, social cohesion, and unity of the country. They also stressed the need to educate the new generation about the values of solidarity as well as enhance the culture of peace dialogues among the various segments of the society to avoid hostility that hinders solidarity and unity
In an unprecedented manner, government authorities, with a spirit of renewed commitment to better serve the public, have expressed formal apologies for all mistakes they committed while carrying out their duties during the previous years. During the Day of Forgiveness celebrated last Sunday, the Ethiopian President has been quoted as saying: "Today's event is timely and important. Let's build a better country for the next generation by developing our social values. Let's cement our unity by developing our values and forgiving each other."
FBC wrote that the Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa along with senior religious leaders has called on the society to lay a firm foundation for the unity of the nation by choosing love over hate and unison over division. "Let's welcome the New Year with a new sprit with forgiveness: forgiving others and receiving forgiveness," she said
Moreover, the city administration has dedicated all the 'extra' five days of the year, the Pagumen, to celebrate the norms and values, which it said, are essential to be internalized and practiced by all citizens for ensuring peaceful coexistences and prosperity. Various public events have been held in the presence of the Deputy mayor during the Pagumen days to observe forgiveness, togetherness, ambassadorship [prioritizing and serving the interest of the nation], thanksgiving [to those who accomplish patriotic deeds ], and the bright future of the nation
Indeed Ethiopia is a nation that has all the potential to be a great and prosperous nation. This year, the media the government authorities, civic and spiritual leaders have effectively used the revitalizing spirit of the new year holiday as an opportunity to galvanize the nation into patriotic action towards realizing the country's potentials to become a peaceful and prosperous nation. Achieving consensus on the country's future and finding and widening the common ground where citizens are eager to contribute their share for the overall advancement of the nation are matters of paramount importance.
Notwithstanding the continued booby-traps, plots, pressures, conspiracies concocted by traitors, enemies, and others they clicked with, the Ethiopian state would surely continue to thrive on making impressive landmark achievements in the new year towards the goal of building a strong nation with sustainable, well-established democracy, peace, and prosperity. So far the Ethiopian state has once again proven its indomitability through the collective efforts exerted by its patriotic citizens.
However, the burdens of unfinished tasks in fully responding and reversing all the threats posed to the country's national security have not been completed in the past year and thus rolled over to the new year. The new year, 2013, could probably be considered as more important and challenging than the past year, interims of defining the nation's future. It is the year that Ethiopians are expected to score victories more substantial than the ones they materialized in the past year.
Putting the lid on the ongoing global pandemic, dealing with rogue militant warmonger groups, ensuring the presence of proactive and efficient security and peacekeeping apparatus across the nation, serving justice without delay, meeting the set yearly goals on the GERD project, achieving reconciliation among contending political forces based on shared vision as citizens, conducting free and fair elections, continuing the multi-sectoral policy reforms and recovering the economy from the blow it received from COVID-19 as well as decades of mismanagement and ill-advised policies are likely to continue to dominate the government's to-do list for the new year.