Culture The Beauty of Africa

8 Most Interesting Facts About Ethiopia

Interesting facts about Ethioopia
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Written by Jesca

Ethiopia is an African country that has the most interesting facts in Africa. Located in the horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the heart of East Africa. Famous for its incredible coffee, Orthodox Christian traditions, and breathtaking natural landscapes, there is a lot to love about Ethiopia.

What is Ethiopia Known for?

Ethiopia is famous for being the country where the coffee bean originated. Ethiopia is also popular for its gold medalists and rock-hewn churches. Ethiopia is Africa’s top coffee and honey producer and has the biggest livestock population in Africa.

What is Ethiopian Culture and Tradition?

European countries did not fully colonise Ethiopia, therefore, it is a rare glimpse into a culture little influenced by the West. Ethiopia has its languages, a unique alphabet, and also has its own time (the clock starts at 6 am, not midnight), and its own calendar, roughly seven years and nine months behind our own.

Whether you’re planning to visit Ethiopia or are just curious about this fascinating and beautiful nation, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 most interesting facts about Ethiopia, from its unique calendar system to mind-blowing athletes.

Interesting facts About Ethiopia

Interesting facts About Ethiopia. Photo/Jaamru/FB

Unique Calendar

Although many cultures worldwide have distinct calendars for religious observation, most calendars stay within 12 months. Ethiopia, however, observes 13 calendar months per year, which makes its calendar 7 years behind the rest of the world. They’ve used it to their benefit with their tourism motto being thirteen months of sunshine!

Home to most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa

Ethiopia has most UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in Africa, including Egypt. There are 9 historical sites, ranging from religious sites to natural areas. These include the Simien National Park, the rock-hewn churches, and Konso Cultural Landscape.

Many Languages

It’s no secret that many African countries are the most linguistically diverse places in the world. However, Ethiopia takes it to the next level. One of the most interesting facts about Ethiopia is that there are over 80 languages spoken in the country. English is the language of educational systems besides local languages such as Oromo, Amharic, Somali, and Tigrinya.

Home to Half of Africa’s Mountains

The natural beauty of Ethiopia is in a league of its own. Besides a gorgeous landscape of low deserts and volcanic plateaus, Ethiopia is remarkably mountainous. About 70% of Africa’s mountains are found in Ethiopia.

The first African to receive an Olympic Gold Medal

Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian marathon runner, was the first African to take home an Olympic gold medal. He won the coveted prize in 1960 in the Rome summer Olympics and surprised the world. Not only because he won in record time, but he had no shoes!

Africa’s Oldest Country

Originally founded in 980 BC, Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent nation. Ethiopia has remnants of some of the most ancient human beings on earth dating back millions of years, making it one of the most valuable archaeological areas on earth. There is a ton of evidence that shows Ethiopia is where the human species, Homo sapiens, originated from. History also has it that Ethiopia is where our early hominid ancestors first walked upright.

Not only that, another Interesting Fact About Ethiopia is that it is the second most populated country with over 106 million people.

Never Colonised

What is Ethiopian Culture and Tradition?

Haille Selassie. Photo/Learn Religions

One of the most interesting facts about Ethiopia in African history is that of all the 54 countries in Africa, it is the sole country that was never fully colonised.

The only nation that came close to colonising it is Italy. In the 1930s, Italians attempted to colonise Ethiopia and even occupied it for six years. However, they failed to bring Ethiopia under their full control and finally cut their losses.

Second Oldest Christian Nation

Ethiopia is the second oldest Christian nation in the world. According to Ethiopian historical records, the Ethiopian emperors were the first to accept Christianity. Soon after the return of the ambassadors from Jerusalem who brought the news of Jesus’ death, it is written that the Ethiopian monarchs declared the Faith.

This also corresponds with the new testament gospel. In the book of Acts, there is a conversation between Philip and one of the said ambassadors of the Ethiopian royal court who was then baptized and came to be one of the first Christian believers in the world.

Religion is important in Ethiopia for Christians and Muslims. While Visiting Ethiopia, you will hear the calls to prayer, and visit the churches, chapels, and mosques that are focal points in every town. Visitors may also join in the many religious festivals that take place in Ethiopia.

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About the author

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Besigye is a Ugandan writer and a teacher by profession. She loves adventure and travelling that's why she loves writing travel blogs.

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