WTF Fun Fact 12775 – The Ethiopian Calendar

The U.S. uses the Gregorian calendar. For us, it’s 2022. But by the Ethiopian calendar, today is July 11, 2014.

When the rest of the world was partying because it was 1999, Ethiopia didn’t start the millennium until it was already 2008 for the rest of us (oh, and their New Year, or Enkutatash) falls on September 11 – or 12th if it’s a leap year).

How does the Ethiopian calendar work?

Ethiopia runs on the Ge’ez Calendar, which is based on the ancient Coptic calendar. And the reason it’s a few years behind the Gregorian schedule is that it has an alternate way of calculating the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus by the angel Gabriel.

Confused yet?

Well, there’s more.

The Ge’ez calendar has 12 months, each with 30 days, plus a 5-6 day “13th month” (called Pagumen) that catches it up to the solar cycle at the end of the year.

New year’s day can be anywhere from September 11th to October 10th.

What does Jesus have to do with it?

According to Culture Trip, the Ge’ez calendar system “starts with the idea that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years before they were expelled for their sins. After they repented, the Bible says that God promised to save them after 5,500 years.”

Now, both the Ge’ez and Gregorian calendars use the birth year of Jesus as the start of their timeline. But the Catholic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church have different ways of calculating that date. The latter believes Jesus Christ was born in 7 BC, which they say is exactly 5,500 years after God made the promise to Adam and Eve.

Then again, in 2012, even the pope came out and said that the calculations of the Eastern European monk named Dionysius Exiguus who suggested we make our calendar in this way are wrong.

So we’re not sure what year it is, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the date is a purely social construct that isn’t rooted in anything we can factually in down.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Ethiopian Time” — Embassy of Ethiopia

WTF Fun Fact 12678 – The (2nd?) Tallest Statue of Jesus

When we see scenes from Rio de Jeneiro in Brazil, their epic Christ the Redeemer statue is always part of the photo montage. However, it’s not even the tallest Jesus statue anymore – and it’s no longer the tallest one in Brazil! Of course, that all depends on whether or not you want to count pedestals.

The Jesus Buntu Burake statue in Sulawesi, Indonesia stands at 172.4 feet (131 without the pedestal), while Christ the King in Swiebodzin, Poland stands at 172.2 feet (108 without the pedestal). But feel free to correct us in the comments since it’s probably hard to get a tape measure up there and we only know what we read on the Internet (but it was from Architectural Digest)!

Rio’s statue is a mere 98 feet tall (and it’s pedestal adds another 28 feet) by comparison. But a tiny town nearly 1000 miles southwest of the city just took the Brazilan title for tallest Jesus statue away from their Christ the Redeemer.

Cristo Protetor de Encantado was built with funds raised by the Associação Amigos de Cristo, and cost of $350,000. It is also far more detailed than Rio’s (though we’re not sure that matters in the long run).

Mexico now pledges it will build the tallest statue of them all in Ciudad Victoriaat standing at 252 feet. Christ of Peace is currently being constructed.

Holy monument? Pilgramage site? Both? More than 37,500 people have come to visit so far, even before Jesus was “open for business.” When he’s done, he will have interior shops, restaurants, and viewing areas, including a glass heart to view the city from.

You can look at him from his base for $4 on the weekends from 9am to 5pm. He opens fully in early 2023.

Now, there’s a little confusion in the press over the height of all of these status and whether or not the official tally includes the base. Smithsonian Magazine seems to think this new statue will be the tallest, however it will stand at 143 feet (43.5 meters) with the pedestal (making it the largest Jesus, but not the largest full statue. Without the pedestal, the statue is 123 feet (37.5 meters), so by our math, Indonesia’s is still bigger in that sense.

Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world and Jesus is a big travel draw. It remains to be seen to what extent the people of this small town will benefit financially, but we’re sure it’s quite a sight nevertheless. –  WTF fun fact

Want to see a video about all of this? Here ya go:

Source: “This Statue Is Now the Third Tallest Monument of Christ in the World — and Will Open to Visitors in 2023” — Travel & Leisure