*Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels". When Makeda, Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside. But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Today's Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers.
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As many of us enjoy the warm days of summer, our friends on the other side of the world will soon emerge from long cold days of winter, with a spring festival like no other on September 11th. Last year, we joined in celebrating this historic annual event with a modified pen pal project and exchanged personalised greeting cards through the post with kindred spirits from at least 15 different countries across the globe. For good measure, and because we abide by absolutely no rules here in my necessary room, we continued this party well into the winter. (I imagine that Queen Makeda wouldn't mind us practising love a little more often throughout the year ;)
The *gift of jewels* project has been such a rewarding and uplifting experience for me personally, and I am always honoured when i get an opportunity for our spirits to connect.
Well my dear friends, it's that time again, to celebrate love and life as a new year approaches. For those interested, won't you please join me in sending a randomly selected person a greeting card in the post. It can be personally hand-crafted, a photocard, photograph, or even a purchased postcard or greeting card. We must all agree, however, to honour our commitment because some loving soul will be eagerly awaiting your card's arrival.
If you wish to participate in the *gift of jewels* project, please leave a comment on this post by August 20, 2010.
All participants should also email me directly at email@example.com with their snail mail address and preferred blog link. I will randomly select the intended recipient of your jewel from amongst the registered participants. You will receive a personal email from me shortly after the registration deadline with your secret recipient's information. As always, no two people will have each other, so you'll just have to wait and see where your jewel will come from? For the shy at heart, you can certainly send your jewel anonymously if you wish ;) Please know that your information will not be shared with anyone other than the person selected to send your *gift of jewels*.
hand-written letters arrive in my mailbox
oh, how they warm my soul
i walk mindfully upon this earth
treasuring always your symbols of love
holding each one, so near to my heart.
All *gift of jewels* should be postmarked on or before September 11, 2010, the Ethiopian New Year.
Won't you please join me in spreading love around the world?
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If you'd like to: