Founded in 980 B.C., Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world.
Ethiopians have one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Current figures estimate that women can expect to live for about 50 years, and men for about 48 years.
Some of the traditional societies in Ethiopia view having twins as mingi, or a sign of bad luck. They believe that twins may be cursed, or invite evil spirits.
The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months and it is 7 or 8 years behind the Western calendar—so as of 2015, it is only 2008 in Ethiopia. The 13th month has only five days, or six in a leap year.
The Great Rift Valley cuts through Ethiopia from northeast to south of the country and is the only physical feature of Africa that it visible from space.
Donkeys and camels were first domesticated in Ethiopia.
The earliest instance of human ancestors using tools has been traced to Ethiopia
Ethiopians celebrated their new year on September 11.
Ethiopa Interesting Fact
Ethiopia is from the Greek word “Αιθιοψ” or “aithiops,” which literally means “charred or burnt”
The name “Ethiopia” comes from the Greek words aitho and ops, which together mean “burnt face.” This was how the ancient Greeks referred to the dark-skinned people of eastern Africa.
Although child marriage is illegal in Ethiopia, 49% of girls marry before 18 and nearly 1 in 5 Ethiopian girls is married before 15. Almost half of 15- to 19- year-old girls in the Amhara region have been or currently are married.
Ethiopians on average consume only 1,850 calories per day, making Ethiopia one of the least calorie-consuming countries, and its population ranks as one of the leanest as well with at 21-gram average daily fat consumption.
Aksum, in Ethiopia, is famous as a claimant to the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, the chest containing the 10 commandments God gave to Moses, and the standing obelisk, which is 75 feet (23 m) high. With windows and doors, it looks like the world’s first skyscraper.
Ethiopian distance runner Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win the gold medal in the Olympic Marathon in 1960, and he ran the race barefooted. He won the race again in Tokyo four years later and became the first person to win the race twice, setting a world record.
Coffee was first discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi in the Kaffa region, from which the word “coffee” may derive, when he noticed his goats “dancing” after eating the berries off the coffee plant. Today, it is estimated that four out of five Americans drink coffee at least once a day. Coffee is the top agricultural export for 12 countries, with the livelihood of over 100 million people depending on its production, and it is the world’s second most valuable commodity after petroleum.
Ethiopian emperor Menelik II was the first African to drive a car, in 1907.
Ethiopia ranks as the 5th poorest country in the world. Almost two-thirds of the Ethiopian populations lives on less than US$1 a day.
In Ethiopia, time is counted differently. Six o’clock is said to be 12 o’clock, and 16:00 hours is 10 o’clock. Ethiopians rationalize that the clock should start when the day does.
Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country
Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that was never formally colonized; however, it had to defeat the Italians twice to remain independent.
The Abyssinian cat breed, which originated in Ethiopia, ranks as the 5th most popular pedigreed cat breed in the United States.
Ethiopian entrepreneur Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is the founder of soleRebels, a brand of footwear that fuses recycled car tires for the soles with traditional Ethiopian crafts and modern design. She was named one of the 20 youngest power women in Africa in 2011, and soleRebels is the very first African consumer brand to ever open its own standalone retail store in the U.S. (in California in 2014).
Tewahedo, or the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, is one of the oldest forms of Christianity in the world. It came to Ethiopia from Egypt, where Egyptians belonged to the Coptic Church. Around A.D. 330, Frumentius, the Apostle of Ethiopia, converted the Axumite king Ezana, who made Christianity the empire’s official religion. Today, 40% of Ethiopians practice Christianity.
Ethiopia was the birthplace of Pan-Africanism (a united Africa). Hailed by Emperor Haile Selassie I, it led to the birth of the African Union.
Ethiopia is home to the source of the Blue Nile, which together with the White Nile makes up the Nile River, the longest river in the world.
Traditionally, Ethiopian parents and children do not share a last name. Most children take their father’s first name as their last name.