Zen Zion Coptic
Ethiopian Coptic Calendar
Note: on Groundhog day, 2005 (Gregorian) the ZZCO changed our numbering convention from the
Egyptian calendar to the Ethiopian calendar, in order to be more in sync with other Rastafarians
thoughout the world. The layout of the months is the same, but the number of the year is now just seven years
off of the Gregorian calendar. The month names were changed to the Ethiopian equivalents.
All historians have agreed that the Egyptians were the first to
calculate time. They divided the year into 12 months, according
in their knowledge of the stars. They later discovered the solar
year, and became dependent upon it. Each of the 12 months was
30 days long and they added five more days, which they called
the small month. Therefore, their year became 365 days long.
The final stage of rectifying the calendar, in 238 BC was to
add a sixth day to the small month every four years. The beginning
of their year was on the first day of the month of Meskerem (Thout), which
is the first month of the Coptic year.
The year 284 was the year Diocletian became emperor, and he ordered the longest and fiercest
persecution the Christians ever experienced. He remained in office until 305.
Over eight hundred thousand Copts lost their lives under Diocletian.
To keep alive the memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for their
faith, the Coptic calendar commenced with the year 284 A.D as its starting
(note: at this point there was only one catholic church, this is pre-schismatic)
The Ethiopian calendar, on the other hand, used the actual year of Jesus' birth (since they knew it) as its starting point.
The Copts follow the same calendar system of the ancient Egyptians.
The Coptic year begins on September 11th and has twelve months of thirty days
each, and a short month of five days (or six days on leap years.)
The Egyptians named their months after their gods, and chose their
names according to the season of the climatic changes for agriculture.
We are not quite certain at this point what the Ethiopian names mean.
Egyptian names are listed in parentheses.
They divided the year into 3 main seasons:
The season of the flood of the Nile: Meskerem—Tahesas (Thout
The season of vegetation: Tir—Meyazeya (Tobi to Paremoude)
The season of reaping and harvesting: Genbot—Paguemain (Pachons
to Mesori) The small month was a chance for feasts and festivals.
The Coptic months are, in order:
The Season of the Flood of the Nile
- Named after the god Tegot, Tut or Tuhout, who is
the god of wisdom, science, art inventions and divine mysteries
for the Egyptians.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: September
11 to October 10.
Named after Yee-pee or Ha-pee, the god of
the Nile or of Thebes, who is also the god of vegetation,
because in this month the face of the earth becomes green
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: October 11
to November 9.
Named after Hator or Hatho, the goddess
of love and beauty, because during this month the lands
become lush and green.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: November
10 to December 9.
Named after Ka-Ha-Ka, the god of good, who
is the sacred bull Apis.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: December
10 to January 8.
The Season of Vegetation
Named after the god Amso or Khem, who is
a form of the God Amoun-ru, the god of Thebes in Upper Egypt;
he is the god of the growth of nature because much rain
falls during this month.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: January 9
to February 7.
Particular to the genius of wind, because
the storms and wind occur much during this month. It is
the month in which the summer heat begins.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: February
8 to March 9.
Named after the god Mont, which is the god
of war. During this month the temperature is high and thus
the Egyptians called it the month of the sun.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: March 10
to April 8.
Named after Renno, the god of severe wind
or death. During this month the season of vegetation ends
and the earth becomes dry.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: April 9 to
The Season of Reaping and Harvesting
Named after Khonso, the god of the moon,
on of the Thebic trinity and the son of Amoun-Ru and Mout.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: May 9 to
Named after Khenti, on the names of Horus
or the sun. It means "the god of metals".
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: June 8 to
Named after Api-fee or Abib, who is the
big serpent which Horus (the sun), the son of Osiris, killed
to revenge for his father.
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: July 8 to
Particular to the birth of the sun or what
is known as the "summer shift"
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: August 7
to September 5.
Paguemain (Nasie—Little Month)
It has 5 days in three successive years
and 6 days in the leap year
Gregorian Calendar equivalent: September
: The above Gregorian Calendar equivalents may change slightly
in a leap year.