Cherokee calendar

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The Cherokee calendar is defined by the seasonal round of ceremonies practiced by the Cherokee people. Although a modern calendar year comprises 12 months, there are actually 13 cycles or phases of the moon in the Cherokee calendar.[citation needed] The seasonal round of ceremonies is considered a necessary spiritual element for social cohesion and encourage gatherings among the Cherokee clans and Cherokee society.

Cherokee names for Julian calendar months[edit]

  • January: Unolvtana or Unâlatŭni,[1] meaning "windblown",[2] [3]
  • February: Kagaʔli or Gŭgăli,[1] Bone Moon,[citation needed] "month when the stars and moon are fixed in the heavens"[2]
  • March: Anvhyi, referring to strawberries (anŭ),[3]
  • April: Kawohni, or Kùwáni[1] meaning "duck" as in "when the ducks return", "ducks swim in ponds month",[2] [3]
  • May: Anisgvti, Ansgvti,[1] "planting moon",[citation needed] month of strawberries[2] or making pottery (ŭntĭ)[3]
  • June: Dehaluyi,[1] "planting corn",[citation needed] blackberry month[2]
  • July: Kuyegwona,[1] "ripe corn moon",[citation needed] huckleberry month[2]
  • August: Gaʔloni,[1] fruit moon,[citation needed] wild grapes month, Green Corn ceremony[2] refers to drying up of the streams. [3]
  • September: Dulisdi,[1] nut moon,[citation needed] translation unknown, Bounding Bush Feast[2]
  • October: Dunihidi, Duninhdi,[1] harvestime month, Great New Moon Ceremony[2]
  • November: Nvdadequa, Nvdadeqwa,[1] big moon month,[2] [3]
  • December: Vsdgiyi, Vskihyi,[1] snow moon,[citation needed] translation unknown[2]


  • Spring, Gagéyl, "near the summer"
  • Summer, Gagi
  • Early Autumn, Gúyû
  • Late Autumn, Ulăgăhûstû (refers to falling of the leaves)
  • Winter, Gâlû [3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Feeling 234
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Dubin 193
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mooney 1894.


  • Bruchac, Joseph; London, Jonathan (1992). Thirteen moons on turtle's back. Puffin Books. ISBN 9780698115842. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  • Dubin, Lois Sherr (1999). North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-3689-5.
  • Feeling, Durbin (1975). Pulte, William (ed.). Cherokee-English Dictionary. Tahlequah, Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. LCCN 75329756.
  • Mooney, James (July 1894). "The Cherokee Calendar System". American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal (1880-1914). 16 (4): 244.