Why Ethiopians celebrates Christmas in January and not December

Ethiopians believe that Jesus Christ, the spiritual leader of Christians, was born on January 7.

This is because the ‘Coptic Christians’ (a term used to refer to indigenous Christian population in Egypt and the Middle East) use the Julian calendar of the Coptic Orthodox Church as against the Gregorian calendar.

According to the Julian calendar which Christians in Ethiopia follow, Christmas day celebration is on January 7, every year, as against the largely celebrated December 25, by most people around the world.
Interestingly, Ethiopia is not the only country that uses the Julian calendar to celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Egyptian and Eritrean Christians who are ardent followers of the doctrines of the Coptic Orthodox church also keep the same date.

While Christmas celebration on the Gregorian calendar begins with a special service night on December 24 (Christmas Eve) before the morning after on the 25th, Coptic Christians precede their Christmas day celebration with a 43 or 44 day fast (if it is a leap year). This fasting is known as the “Tsome Nebiyat” dedicated to the prophets.

During the period of fasting, known as The Holy Nativity Fast or Fast of the Prophets', each Coptic Christian becomes a vegan.
The all night Christmas Eve procession
Consequently, they abstain from taking dairy products such as milk and fish and are mandated to break their fast with a vegan meal. The fast ends on the eve of Christmas.

On Christmas eve wearing white clothes, the faithfuls go to the nearest church for an all-night Christmas mass. Priests and chorals sing all night while others applaud and burn candles.

The next day, “Guena” which is known as Ethiopian Christmas, is celebrated in an atmosphere of great joy by eating national dishes such as “Doro Wat” (chicken sauce), “Tere Siga” (raw meat), “Tubes” (grills).
Priests and chorals celebrating the end of "Tsome Nebiyat"
Believers getting set for some "Guena Chewat" action as part of activities held during the fast.
Also an old game that looks a lot like ice hockey is played with a curved-end wooden stick and a wooden ball, during this season. This game called “Ye Guena Chewata” involves the lords as well as the servants on an equal position and the lords would not be dissatisfied even if the servants won.

Legend has it that one of the Three Wise Men, as recounted in the Christian Holy Bible, that followed the star to where baby Jesus was born was an Ethiopian.
"Doro Wat", Ethiopian chicken and egg stew nationally eaten during Guena.