ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopians on Tuesday celebrated their New Year a few days after the state funeral service for the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who passed away on August 20, 2012 at the age of 57.
In his New Year message, President Girma Woldegiorgis of Ethiopia said the 2005 New Year is celebrated by Ethiopians in mixed feelings as the country lost its visionary leader.
He called on the citizens to work on the legacy of the late Prime Minister to overcome poverty and ensure sustainable development in the country, according to the state TV.
Ethiopia has a tradition of pardoning prisoners annually, and different media reports including the state TV said that the government has pardoned and released about 1923 prisoners in connection with this Ethiopian New Year.
Being about seven years and seven months behind the Gregorian calendar, Ethiopia's calendar counts 2005 now.
On the occasion of New Year celebration in Ethiopia, among many other activities, girls dressed up in white traditional costumes, holding flowers in hands,n going from houses to houses to reach residences with their happy New Year wishes and singing special song of the holiday.
And boys visit neighboring residences, relatives, and others with presents of special cards which convey best wishes of the New Year.
The Ethiopian New Year falls on Sept. 11 at a time when the heavy rainfall starts to cease and the bright sun shines on the green and wet land in the country.
And to mark the shining of the sun and the cease of the heavy rainfall after three months, Ethiopians also lit wooden-torch on the eve of the New Year.