We believe that the 12-month rule is followed by all nations. But one country in Africa is unique, as it uses a calendar with 13 months in a year.

Ethiopia uses a calendar with 30 days for the first 12 months. However, the last month known as Pagume has five days on average and six on leap years. On the Ethiopian calendar, a year has 365 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, and 24 seconds. Once every four years, on the sixth day of a leap year, six hours add up to 24 hours. Two minutes and 24 seconds add up to a full day once every 600 years. This seventh day is known to the Ethiopians as rena mealt and rena lelit. This means they’re seven to eight years behind the rest of us since 2014 started in September of last year. Ethiopians then mark the beginning of the new year on September 11 or September 12 if it’s a leap year. The country observes more public holidays than other countries throughout the world due to its unique calendar.

The Gregorian calendar is widely used, and some individuals even switch the two calendars. Nevertheless, the traditional calendar is still used in modern-day Ethiopia. Be sure to check the dates in advance if you’re going to Ethiopia!