Months in Ukrainian and Their Origin

Months in Ukrainian and Their Origin

The months in Ukrainian are very different from those in the Roman calendar because they take their origin from pre– Christian times.

The names of months closely follow weather patterns, agricultural and social activities common for a specific part of a season.

Зима́ /zyma/ – winter

Гру́день /hruden/ – December

Гру́день comes from гру́дка землі́ (a soil clod). Before roads were covered with asphalt, after autumn rains, roads were tread by wagons. In December, there were soil clods on the roads (груди, грудки) because of freezing weather.

Сі́чень /sichen/ – January

The word cічень came from сочень, which meant the middle of winter.

Лю́тий /liutyi/ – February

The word лютий means furious.

And there is an apparent reason for it: лютий is the coldest month of the year.

Весна́ /vesna/ – spring

Бе́резень /berezen/ – March

The word comes from бере́за (a birch). Береза begins to bloom this month.

Кві́тень /kviten/ – April

Квітень is derived from кві́тнути (to flower, to blossom). Some trees begin to bloom and smell very nice.

Тра́вень /traven/ – May

The name of this month is connected with the word трава́ (grass). The grass is growing.

Лі́то /lito/ – summer

Че́рвень /cherven/ – June

Черво́ний means red. There is a red moon and red fruits and berries this month.

Ли́пень /lypen/ – July

Липень comes from ли́па (a linden).

Се́рпень /serpen/ – August

This month people harvest and reap grain crops with серп (a sickle).

О́сінь /osin‘/ – autumn

Ве́ресень /veresen/ – September

This month ве́рес (heather) is blooming.

Жо́втень /zhovten/ – October

You might know the colour жо́втий. In October, there are a lot of жовте листя (yellow leaves) everywhere.

Листопа́д /lystopad/ – November

This word has two parts: лист (листо́к – leaf) і пад (па́дати – to fall). Листопад is a time when leaves are falling.

Now you know the Ukrainian months. Do you find them unique? What is your favourite month?

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