Tonight the Coptic Museum is celebrating Coptic New Year with a series of lectures about Coptic arts, history, the Coptic calendar, and its relation to the ancient Egyptian calendar. Afterwards, a music concert will follow.
Ahmed Sharaf, head of museums section of the Ministry of Antiquities, said this is the first time for the ministry to celebrates Coptic New Year in this way.
He added that the celebration is entitled "Wahed Tout" (One Tout), referring to the name of the first month of the Coptic Year, which commemorates the god of knowledge, Thoth.
Sharaf explained that the Coptic calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar, though its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar, but with different numbers and names.
It has 13 months: 12 of 30 days each and an intercalary month at the end of the year of five or six days, depending on whether the year is a leap year or not.
The year starts on 11 September in the Gregorian calendar, or on the 12th in the year before Gregorian leap years. The Coptic leap year follows the same rules as the Gregorian, so that the extra month always has six days in the year before a Gregorian leap year.
The names of the months are Tout, Baba, Hator, Kiahk, Toba, Amshir, Baramhat, Baramouda, Bashans, Paona, Epep, Mesra and Nasie.