The strong religious setting, celebrations and festivals play an important part in every ones daily life. Church ceremonies are a major feature of Ethiopian life. The events are impressive and unique. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has its own head, follows its own customs, and is extremely proud of its fourth century origins.
Foreign visitors are often intrigued by the promise of ‘Thirteen months of Sunshine’ in most brochures. Ethiopia steel follows the thirteen –month Coptic calendar, instead of the twelve-month Gregorian calendar used in most parts of the world. Twelve months each consists of thirty days. The other five days of the year make up the thirteenth month. Ethiopia is also seven years and eight months behind that of the Gregorian calendar, so that 2001 only 1994. Twelve public holidays are observed in Ethiopia with the New Year starting in September. Please see unique holidays.
The Lower Omo is home to a remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups. Their lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Lacking any material, culture and artifacts common to other cultures, these tribes find unique ways in which to express their artistic impulses. Both the Surma and the Karo, for example, are experts at body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other's faces, chests, arms, and legs. These designs are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows.