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The traditional Xhosa names for months of the year poetically come from names of stars, plants, and flowers that grow or seasonal changes that happen at a given time of year in Southern Africa.
The Xhosa year traditionally begins in June and ends in May when the brightest star visible in the Southern Hemisphere, Canopus, signals the time for harvesting.
In urban areas today, anglicized versions of the months are used, especially by the younger generation, but in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, the old names still stand.
Month by month they are, in relation with:
|English||Xhosa||Explanation of the months|
|January||EyoMqungu||month of the tambuki grass|
|February||EyoMdumba||month of the swelling grain|
|March||EyoKwindla||month of the first fruits|
|April||UTshazimpunzi||month of the withering pumpkins|
|May||UCanzibe / EyeCanzibe||month of Canopus|
|June||EyeSilimela||month of the Pleiades|
|July||EyeKhala / EyeNtlaba||month of the aloes|
|August||EyeThupha||month of the buds|
|September||EyoMsintsi||month of the coast coral tree|
|October||EyeDwarha||month of the lilypad or yet tall yellow daisies|
|November||EyeNkanga||month of the small yellow daisies|
|December||EyoMnga||month of the acacia thorn tree|
Days of the week
- Sunday - iCawa
- Monday - uMvulo
- Tuesday - uLwesibini
- Wednesday - uLwesithathu
- Thursday - uLwesine
- Friday - uLwesihlanu
- Saturday - uMgqibelo
- Kirsch et al., Clicking with Xhosa, David Phillip Publishers, Cape Town, 2001, p. 43f.