Romanian months

The traditional Romanian calendar has its own names for the months, which are otherwise identical to those of the Gregorian calendar. In modern Romania and Moldova, the latter exclusively is used for business and government transactions, and predominates in popular use as well. Nevertheless, the traditional names of the months do appear in some contexts, for instance on ecclesiastical calendars produced by the Romanian Orthodox Church.

All the names of the months are of Latin origin, which indicates that their use predates the Slavic contact around the 8th century. Six months have their names derived from characteristics of the months. Five are derived from the Latin names now used in the Gregorian calendar (and earlier in the Julian calendar). However, each of these has a folk etymology and an additional meaning. The last month, December, derives its name from that of Saint Andrew.

Month usual Romanian name traditional Romanian name derivation of traditional Romanian name
January ianuarie gerar derived from januarius, folk etymology connects it to ger - "bitter cold"; as winter reaches its depth during this month.
February februarie făurar derived from februarius; folk etymology connects it with a făuri - "to create"; hence, făurar could also mean "ironsmith", who shapes objects to be used in spring, and "creator", referring to the cold that generates new shapes
March martie mărțișor mărțișor - derived from martius, with diminutive -ișor, hence "little March"
April aprilie prier derived from aprilis; folk etymology connects it with a prii - "to have a good omen", because it was considered a good month to continue agricultural works begun in March, and for flocks of sheep to form
May mai florar floare - "flower"; a month of abundant vegetation. Compare with Floréal in the French Republican Calendar.
June iunie cireșar cireș - "cherry tree", whose fruit ripens now
July iulie cuptor cuptor - "oven"; often the hottest month, and also when wheat is ready for harvest
August august gustar derived from augustus; folk etymology connects it with a gusta - "to taste", as fruit now starts to become ready for picking
September septembrie răpciune1; viniceriu2 1weather-related, referring to the incipient cold; 2vin - "wine", as September is the wine-producing month. Compare with Vendémiaire in the French Republican Calendar.
October octombrie brumărel brumă - "hoarfrost"; brumărel means "little hoarfrost", as this is just beginning to appear in October
November noiembrie brumar brumă - "hoarfrost", in full swing this month; cf. French Republican Calendar month Brumaire
December decembrie undrea from Îndrea (< Andreas); Saint Andrew's feast day, November 30, ushers in this month

See also


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