Slavic calendar

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While many Slavic languages officially use Latin-derived names for the months of the year in the Gregorian calendar, there is also a set of older names for the twelve months that differs from the Latin month names, as they are of Slavic origin. In some languages, such as the Serbian language these traditional names have since been archaized and are thus seldom used.

The original names of the months of the year in the Slavic languages closely follow natural occurrences such as weather patterns and conditions common for that period, as well as agricultural activities.

Many months have several alternative names in different regions; conversely, a single "Slavic name" may correspond to different "Roman names" (for different months, usually following each other) in different languages.

Comparison table[edit]

The Slavic names of the months have been preserved by a number of Slavic people in a variety of languages. Some languages show the influence of the Germanic calendar (particularly Slovene, Sorbian, and Polabian) but they have been included here nonetheless.[1]

In the Lithuanian language, the Baltic names of the months are preserved, which partially coincide with the Slavic ones, which suggests that some of these names may date back to the time of the Balto-Slavic unity. Lithuanian names are also shown in this table for comparison.

Comparison of the traditional names for the twelve months in different Slavic languages[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]
Language January February March April May June July August September October November December
Ukrainian січень
sichen’
лютий
lyutyy
березень
berezen’
квітень
kviten’
травень
traven’
червень
červen’
липень
lypen’
серпень
serpen’
вересень
veresen’
жовтень
žovten’
листопад
lystopad
грудень
hruden’
Rusyn січень
sichen’
лютый
lyutyy
березень
berezen’
цвітень
cviten’
травень
traven’
червень
červen’
липень
lypen’
серпень
serpen’
вересень
veresen’
жолтень
žolten’
листопад
lystopad
грудень
hruden’
Belarusian студзень
studzien’
люты
luty
сакавік
sakavik
красавік
krasavik
травень
travien’
чэрвень
červien’
ліпень
lipien’
жнівень
žnivien’
верасень
vierasien’
кастрычнік
kastryčnik
лістапад
listapad
снежань
sniežan’
Russian (archaic) сечень
sečen’
лютый
ljutyj
березозол
berezozol
цветень
cveten’
травень
traven’
червень
červen’
липец
lipec
серпень
serpen’
вересень
veresen’
листопад
listopad
грудень
gruden’
студень
studen’
Bulgarian (archaic) сечен
sečen
люти
lyuti
сухи
sukhi
брезен
brezen
тревен
treven
изок
izok
червен
červen
зарев
zarev
руен
ruen
груден
gruden
просинец
prosinets
Macedonian (archaic) коложег
koložeg
сечко
sečko
цутар
cutar
тревен
treven
косар
kosar
жетвар
žetvar
златец
zlatec
житар
žitar
гроздобер
grozdober
студен
studen
снежник
snežnik
Serbian (archaic) дерикожа
derikoža
лежитрава
ležitrava
цветањ
cvetanj
трешњар
trešnjar
жетвар
žetvar
гумник
gumnik
коледар
koledar
Croatian siječanj veljača ožujak travanj svibanj lipanj srpanj kolovoz rujan studeni prosinac
Slovene (archaic) prosinec svečan sušec mali traven veliki traven rožnik mali srpan veliki srpan kimavec vinotok listopad gruden
Slovak (archaic) veľký sečeň malý sečeň brezen duben kveten lipen červenec klasen malý rujen veľký rujen prosinec
Czech leden únor březen květen červen srpen září říjen
Polish styczeń luty brzezień (archaic) kwiecień; łżykwiat (archaic) trawień (archaic) czerwiec lipiec sierpień wrzesień październik grudzień
Kashubian stëczeń gromicznik marc łżëkwiat, kwiecéń môj czerwc lipc serzpiéń wrzeseń pajicznik lëstopôd gòdnik
luti miodownik pazdzérznik grëdzéń
Lower Sorbian (archaic) wezymski swěckowny pózymski jatšownik rozhelony smažki žnjojski jacmjeński požnjenc winski młośny zymski
Upper Sorbian (archaic) wulki róžk mały róžk nalětnik jutrownik róžownik pražnik žnjenc winowc nazymnik hodownik
Polabian (extinct) ledemån rüzac zürmån chåidemån laisemån pąťustemån zeminik haimån jisinmån vaińamån zaimamån trübnemån
Lithuanian (non-Slavic) sausis vasaris kovas balandis gegužė birželis liepa rugpjūtis rugsėjis spalis lapkritis gruodis

Croatian months[edit]

The Croatian months used with the Gregorian calendar by Croats differ from the original Latin month names:

No. Latin name English name Croatian name Croatian meaning
1 Ianuarius January siječanj month of cutting or hewing (wood), but there are also dialectal terms 'svečan, svičen, sičan' that have a meaning 'festive', so there is a possibility of a meaning 'festive month' (as there are several holidays celebrated in January)[11]
2 Februarius February veljača month in which days become longer (oveljiti se = to get bigger);[12] also, possibly from "Velja Noć" (Great Night), old Slavic pagan festival that falls in modern-day February
3 Martius March ožujak lying month (laž>ož; laž = a lie), because the weather is changing often
4 Aprilis April travanj month of grass growing[permanent dead link]
5 Maius May svibanj month of budding (svibovina = Cornel tree)
6 Iunius June lipanj month of the lipa[permanent dead link] (lime / linden tree)
7 Iulius July srpanj month of reaping (with a sickle)[permanent dead link]
8 Augustus August kolovoz month of driving the wagon (for harvest) — kolo + voziti
9 September September rujan month of animal mating (from archaic verb for animal roar "rjuti", referencing mating calls)
10 October October listopad month of falling leaves — list + padati
11 November November studeni cold month
12 December December prosinac the beginning of the Sun's shining (sinuti = to dawn);[13] probably used for January at first, as it's still often used for that month in other Slavic languages. Also, less probably month of begging (for food, f.e.), from prositi = to beg.

Some names are derived from archaic Croatian/Slavic words that are no longer found in standard Croatian dictionaries. In some cases, even the meaning of those words is ambiguous.

In Macedonian and Serbian, листопад (listopad) is also the (archaic) name for October, whereas Polish and Czech listopad, Belarusian лістапад (listapad), and Ukrainian листопад (lystopad) mean November. Likewise, Polish sierpień, Czech srpen and Ukrainian cерпень (serpen’) mean August rather than July; Czech říjen means October rather than September; Slovenian prosinec means January rather than December; and Polish lipiec, Belarusian лiпень (lipen’) and Ukrainian липень (lypen’) mean July rather than June.

Czech months[edit]

The names of Czech months are, as in Polish, Croatian, Ukrainian and Belarusian not based on the Latin names used in most European languages. The suffix -en is added to most of the months' names.

No. Latin name English name Czech name Meaning
1. Ianuarius January leden From led, "ice".
2. Februarius February únor Probably from the word root -nor-, infinitive form nořit (se), "to plunge, to welter", as the ice welters under the lake surface.
3. Martius March březen Either from bříza, "birch", or from březí, "gravid, with young", as the forest animals, mainly hares and rabbits, are pregnant at that time.[14]
4. Aprilis April duben Derived from dub, "oak".
5. Maius May květen From květ, "blossom". Originally máj, "May". The word květen first appeared in Jungmann's translation of Atala from 1805 as a poetism and translation for French lune de fleurs (month of flowers), but quickly gained acceptance. Jungmann was probably also influenced by the Polish word kwiecień ("April").
6. Iunius June červen Either from červený, "red", or from červ, "worm", both related to fruit.
7. Iulius July červenec The same as červen with a diminutive suffix ec, lit. "small červen".
8. Augustus August srpen From srp, "sickle" - used for harvesting.
9. September September září From Old Czech zářij, from za říje. (See říjen.) Folk etymology derives it from zářit, "to blaze, glow, radiate, shine".
10. October October říjen From říje, "rutting", the time when the – mainly deer – males want to couple.
11. November November listopad Literally "leaf-fall".
12. December December prosinec Either from prosit, "to pray, beg, to ask, to plead", possibly relating to holidays at this time, or from prosinalý, "pallid", from siný, deep blue, because the sky is usually pallid at this time.

Macedonian months[edit]

The Macedonian language has two sets of names of the months of the Gregorian calendar. The most commonly used set of names is derived from the Latin month names and these are used by the vast majority of the Macedonian population. However, there is also a set of older names for the twelve months of Slavic origin that differ from the Latin month names, although their usage is archaized and largely restricted to folk literature and religious calendars issued by the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The origin of the Macedonian month names is closely related to the agricultural activities that occur in the corresponding period, or to the weather condition common for that period. Some months have alternative names in different regions. The usage of modern Latin month names among Macedonians started towards the end of the 19th century, as a result of mass education.

No. Latin name English name Macedonian Cyrillic Macedonian Latin Old Macedonian name Transliteration Meaning
1. Ianuarius January Јануари Januari Коложег Koložeg Month of burning tree trunks
2. Februarius February Февруари Fevruari Сечко Sečko Month of ice
3. Martius March Март Mart Цутар Cutar Month of blossoming
4. Aprilis April Април April Тревен Treven Month of grass
5. Maius May Мај Maj Косар Kosar Time of flowering grasses and shrubs
6. Iunius June Јуни Juni Жетвар Žetvar Time of maturity of the first yield of fruits
7. Iulius July Јули Juli Златец Zlatec Golden month
8. Augustus August Август Avgust Житар Žitar Month of wheat
9. September September Септември Septemvri Гроздобер Grozdober Month of harvesting grapes
10. October October Октомври Oktomvri Листопад Listopad Month of leaves falling
11. November November Ноември Noemvri Студен Studen Month of cold
12. December December Декември Dekemvri Снежник Snežnik Month of snow

Slovene months[edit]

Many of the names in the standardized set of archaic Slovene month names first occur in the Škofja Loka manuscript, written in 1466 by Martin of Loka.[15]

No. Latin name English name Slovene name Slovene name (archaic) Meaning
1. Ianuarius January januar prosinec '(sun) shining through';[16][17]
2. Februarius February februar svečan perhaps 'dry' or 'cut' (influenced by svečnica 'Candlemas');[16][17]
3. Martius March marec sušec '(earth) dry (enough for cultivation)';[16][17]
4. Aprilis April april mali traven 'small grass';[16][17]
5. Maius May maj veliki traven 'large grass';[16][17]
6. Iunius June junij rožnik 'flowers' (a translation of German Rosenmonat);[16][17]
7. Iulius July julij mali srpan 'small sickle' (i.e., reaping);[16][17]
8. Augustus August avgust veliki srpan 'large sickle' (i.e., reaping);[16][17]
9. September September september kimavec 'nodding (fruit)';[17]
10. October October oktober vinotok 'wine flowing' (a translation of German Weinmonat);[16][17]
11. November November november listopad 'falling leaves';[16][17]
12. December December december gruden 'biting (cold)'[16] or 'clumped (earth)';[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reindl, Donald F. (1 July 1995). "Evidence for the Germanic Origins of Some Slovene Month Names". Slovene Studies Journal. 15 (1): 169–178. doi:10.7152/ssj.v15i1.4179.
  2. ^ Nedeljković, Mile (September 1998). "Zimski znak vatre letnji znak sunca i Perunova munja" [Winter fire symbol, summer sun symbol, and lightning of Perun]. Srpsko nasleđe (in Serbian) (9). Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  3. ^ Nedeljković, Mile; Karadžić, Vuk (1990). Godišnji običaji u Srba [Annual traditions of the Serbs] (in Serbian). Belgrade.
  4. ^ Jovanović, Stanoje, ed. (1999). Jezici podunavskih zemalja (i ruski) [Languages of the Danube countries (and Russia)]. Belgrade: YU Marketing Press and Verzalpress. OCLC 443031481.
  5. ^ Gleichova, Jarmila; Jenikova, Anna (1982). Česko-srbocharvatsky a srbocharvatsko-česky slovnik na cesty [Czech–Serbo-Croatian/Serbo-Croatian–Czech travel dictionary] (in Czech). Prague: Statni pedagogicke nakladatelstvi.
  6. ^ Menac, Antica; Kovalʹ, Alla P. (1979). Hrvatsko ili srpsko-ukrajinski rječnik [Croatian/Serbian–Ukrainian dictionary]. Zagreb: SNL. OCLC 800783862.
  7. ^ "Carpatho-Rusyn month names". rolandanderson.se. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  8. ^ Serbska protyka [Sorbian calendar]. Bautzen: Domowina. 1968.
  9. ^ Јacanović, Dragan (2000). Srpsko kalendarsko znanje u epskim narodnim pesmama [Serbian calendar knowledge in folk epic poetry] (in Serbian). Rača.
  10. ^ Zaroff, Roman (5 May 2016). "Measurement of Time by the Ancient SlavsMerjenje časa pri starih Slovanih" (PDF). Studia mythologica Slavica. 19: 9–39. doi:10.3986/sms.v19i0.6614.
  11. ^ "NAZIV MJESECI U GODINI NA HRVATSKOM". hamdočamo. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  12. ^ "veljača | Hrvatska enciklopedija". www.enciklopedija.hr. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  13. ^ "prosinac | Hrvatska enciklopedija". www.enciklopedija.hr. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  14. ^ Machek, 1968, in Václav Machek, Etymologický slovník jazyka českého, second edition, Academia, 1968
  15. ^ Stabej, Jože (1966). "Ob petstoletnici škofjeloškega zapisa slovenskih imen za mesece" [On the 500th Anniversary of the Škofja Loka Recording of Slovene Month Names]. Loški razgledi (in Slovenian). Muzejsko društvo Škofja Loka [Museum Society of Škofja Loka]. 13. ISSN 0459-8210.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Snoj, Marko. 2003. Slovenski etimološki slovar. 2nd edition. Ljubljana: Modrijan.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Vaštíková, Zuzana. 2012. Slovinské a české pranostiky. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Filozofická fakulta, Ústav slavistiky.

External links[edit]