january calendar public holiday

We already know that the Hungarian language is full of amazing and, at the same time, puzzling phrases and not even cities can escape the clever wit of Hungarians. Although in these days Hungarians use the modern names for months that are more or less uniform across all languages, the denomination of the months was quite interesting some centuries ago. 

Old Hungarian nameEnglish Translation
JanuaryVízöntő/Boldogasszony/Nagyboldogasszony havaThe month of Aquarius/of the Blessed Virgin Mary/of Assumption
Februaryböjt előhava / böjtelő havaThe month before fasting
Marchböjt máshava / böjtmás havaThe month after fasting
AprilSzent György havaSaint George’s month
MayPünkösd havaThe month of Pentecost
Junenyárelő hava / Szent Iván havaThe month before summer / Saint John’s month
JulySzent Jakab havaSaint Jacob’s month
AugustKisasszony havaThe Virgin’s month
SeptemberSzent Mihály havaSaint Michael’s month
OctoberMindszent havaAllsaint’s month
NovemberSzent András havaSaint Andrew’s month
DecemberKarácsony havaThe month of Christmas

The Szekler (often referred to as ancient) names are symbolic of and reflect the changes in the season and weather.

 Szekler nameEnglish Translation
JanuaryFergeteg havaMonth of storms
FebruaryJég havaMonth of ice
MarchKikelet havaMonth of springtime
AprilSzelek havaMonth of winds
MayÍgéret havaMonth of promise
JuneNapisten havaThe Sun God’s month
JulyÁldás havaMonth of blessing
AugustÚjkenyér havaMonth of the New Bread
SeptemberFöldanya havaMother Earth’s month
OctoberMagvető havaSower’s month
NovemberEnyészet havaMonth of decay
DecemberÁlom havaMonth of dreams

The Arvisura names are taken from a written work, Arvisurák (Arvisures, in loose translation) by Zoltán Paál. According to Paál, the Arvisures are made up of Hun and Hungarian mythology along with these peoples’ belief system, thus his work describes thousands of years of their history and world-view. Concerning the etymology of the Hungarian word ‘Arvisura’, what is known is that it denotes ‘a word that says the truth’.

 Arvisura nameEnglish Translation
JanuaryJég havaMonth of ice
FebruaryHó havaMonth of snow
MarchFák havaMonth of trees
AprilRügyezés havaMonth of blooming
MayVirágzás havaMonth of blossoming
JuneNapérés havaMonth of ripening
JulyAratás havaMonth of reaping
AugustBőség havaMonth of plenty
SeptemberSzüret havaMonth of harvest
October Begyűjtés havaMonth of housing
NovemberLevelek havaMonth of leaves
DecemberIstenfiak havaMonth of the divines


Source: Daily News Hungary

1 comment
  1. Old Magyar, Hun and Szekely would not have 12 months. I have no idea how many months they would have broken down the year into, but the 12 month calendar is a creation to add Roman leaders names, Julius and Augustus. Prior to that, the year was broken down into 10 months..

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