The Ethiopian New Year and the Feast of St John the Baptist are honoured on Meskerem 1 September in the Ethiopian calendar (11 September Gregorian calendar, or September 12 during a leap year). There are three days of prayers, sermons, and hymns along with processions. The big main event takes place in the 14th Century church, Kostete Yohannes, in Gaynt (Gondar Region). Closer to Addis Ababa, the Raguel Church at the top of Entoto Mountain is also a popular venue.
Enkutatash literally means "gift of jewels" and marks the return of the Queen of Sheba from her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem, welcomed back by her chiefs, who refilled her treasury with Jewels. Enkutatash also signals the end of the big rains prompting dancing and singing to celebrate the arrival of spring in the now green countryside.
Geographically Ethiopia is stunning. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with peaks of 4000m or higher. The country is bisected by the Rift Valley, which starts at the Red Sea, to the North East, and continues south to Mozambique in southern Africa.