Na Mionna

The months of the year in Irish:

  • Eanáir (an er) – January, is a borrowing from Latin, as are janvier (French), enero (Spanish), januar (German).
  • Feabhra (fow ruh) – February, is analogous with fevrierfebrero, februar (I know German isn’t a romance language; it’s a language I know a little).
  • Márta (more tuh) – March, from Mars, the god not only of war but of agriculture, hence its association with spring. Marsmarzomärz.
  • Aibreáin (eye bron) – April, perhaps from the Greek Aphrodite (Venus), goddess (among other things) of cultivated fields and gardens. Avrilabrilapril.

(Here’s where things get Gaelic)

  • Bealtaine (bell tuh nuh) – May,  from Beltane, the Celtic midyear festival, from the god Bel or Belenus + tene, fire, meaning Bright One.
  • Meitheamh (meh hev) – June, from Old Irish for mid-summer.
  • Iúil (ool) – July, back to Latin: juilletjuliojuli.
  • Lúnasa (loon uh suh) – August, from Lugh, the god of skill, crafts and the arts, oaths, truth and the law.
  • Meán Fómhair (mion–said quickly, like a cat’s meow–fohver) – September. Fómhair means autumn, so this means mid-autumn.
  • Deireadh Fómhair (dare uh fohver) – October. Deireadh means end or conclusion, so this means end of autumn.
  • Samhain (sown) – November, from Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Oiche Shamhna (eek uh how nuh), Samhain Night, is Halloween.
  • Nollag (null ig) – December, from nollaig, Christmas. From the Latin natus, birth.
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