August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and the fifth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, with March being the first month of the year. About 700 BC, it became the eighth month when January and February were added to the year before March by King Numa Pompilius, who also gave it 29 days. Julius Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 46 BC, giving it its modern length of 31 days. In 8 B ...
April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian, the first of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the second of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. April is commonly associated with the season of autumn in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and spring in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to October in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.
December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. It is also the last of seven months to have a length of 31 days. December got its name from the Latin word decem meaning ten because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name. In Ancient Rome, as one of the fo ...
July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the 10-month calendar. It is on average the warmest month in most of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of summer, and the coldest month in much of the Southern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of winter. The second half of the year commences in July. In the S ...
June is the sixth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the second of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the third of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. June contains the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the most daylight hours, and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the day with the fewest daylight hours. June in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to December in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Northern Hemisphere, the beginning of the traditional astronomical summer is 21 June. ...
March is the third month of the year and named after Mars in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the second of seven months to have a length of 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological beginning of spring occurs on the first day of March. The March equinox on the 20 or 21 marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the seasonal equivalent of the Northern Hemispheres March. March begins on the same day of the week as November and ends on the same day of the week as ...
A month is a unit of time, used with calendars, which is approximately as long as a natural period related to the motion of the Moon; month and Moon are cognates. The traditional concept arose with the cycle of Moon phases; such months are synodic months and last approximately 29.53 days. From excavated tally sticks, researchers have deduced that people counted days in relation to the Moons phases as early as the Paleolithic age. Synodic months, based on the Moons orbital period with respect to the Earth-Sun line, are still the basis of many calendars today, and are used to divide the year.
1. Types of months in astronomy
The following types of months are mainly of significance in astronomy, most of them but not the distinction between sidereal and tropical months first recognized in Babylonian lunar astronomy.
- The draconic month, draconitic month, or nodal month is the period in which the Moon returns to the same node of its orbit; the nodes are the two points where the Moons orbit crosses the plane of the Earths orbit. Its duration is about 27.21222 days on average.
- The sidereal month is defined as the Moons orbital period in a non-rotating frame of reference which on average is equal to its rotation period in the same frame. It is about 27.32166 days. It is closely equal to the time it takes the Moon to pass twice a "fixed" star different stars give different results because all have a very small proper motion and are not really fixed in position.
- The tropical month is the average time for the Moon to pass twice through the same equinox point of the sky. It is 27.32158 days, very slightly shorter than the sidereal month 27.32166 days, because of precession of the equinoxes.
- A synodic month is the most familiar lunar cycle, defined as the time interval between two consecutive occurrences of a particular phase such as new moon or full moon as seen by an observer on Earth. The mean length of the synodic month is 29.53059 days. Due to the eccentricity of the lunar orbit around Earth and to a lesser degree, the Earths elliptical orbit around the Sun, the length of a synodic month can vary by up to seven hours.
- An anomalistic month is the average time the Moon takes to go from perigee to perigee - the point in the Moons orbit when it is closest to Earth. An anomalistic month is about 27.55455 days on average.
A synodic month is longer than a sidereal month because the Earth-Moon system is orbiting the Sun in the same direction as the Moon is orbiting the Earth. The Sun moves eastward with respect to the stars as does the Moon and it takes about 2.2 days longer for the Moon to return to the same apparent position with respect to the Sun.
An anomalistic month is longer than a sidereal month because the perigee moves in the same direction as the Moon is orbiting the Earth, one revolution in nine years. Therefore, the Moon takes a little longer to return to perigee than to return to the same star.
A draconic month is shorter than a sidereal month because the nodes move in the opposite direction as the Moon is orbiting the Earth, one revolution in 18.6 years. Therefore, the Moon returns to the same node slightly earlier than it returns to the same star.
2. Calendrical consequences
At the simplest level, most well-known lunar calendars are based on the initial approximation that 2 lunations last 59 days: a 30-day full month followed by a 29-day hollow month - but this is only roughly accurate, and eventually needs correction by using larger cycles, or the equivalent of leap days. Additionally, the synodic month does not fit easily into the year, which makes accurate, rule-based lunisolar calendars complicated. The most common solution to this problem is the Metonic cycle, which takes advantage of the fact that 235 lunations are approximately 19 tropical years which add up to not quite 6940 days. However, a Metonic calendar will drift against the seasons by about 1 day every 200 years. Metonic calendars include the calendar used in the Antikythera Mechanism about 2000 years ago, and the Hebrew calendar.
The complexity required in an accurate lunisolar calendar may explain why solar calendars which have months which no longer relate to the phase of the Moon, but are based only on the motion of the Sun relative to the equinoxes and solstices have generally replaced lunar calendars for civil use in most societies.
3. Months in various calendars
Reformed Bengali calendar
The Bangla calendar, used in Bangladesh, follows solar months and it has six seasons. The months and seasons in the calendar are:
Old Georgian calendar
*NOTE: New Year in ancient Georgia started from September.
3.1. Months in various calendars Beginning of the lunar month
The Hellenic calendars, the Hebrew Lunisolar calendar and the Islamic Lunar calendar started the month with the first appearance of the thin crescent of the new moon.
However, the motion of the Moon in its orbit is very complicated and its period is not constant. The date and time of this actual observation depends on the exact geographical longitude as well as latitude, atmospheric conditions, the visual acuity of the observers, etc. Therefore, the beginning and lengths of months defined by observation cannot be accurately predicted.
While some like the Jewish Karaites still rely on actual moon observations, most people use the Gregorian solar calendar.
Pingelapese, a language from Micronesia, also uses a lunar calendar. There are 12 months associated with their calendar. The moon first appears in March, they name this month Kahlek. This system has been used for hundreds of years and throughout many generations. This calendar is cyclical and relies on the position and shape of the moon.
3.2. Months in various calendars Julian and Gregorian calendars
The Gregorian calendar, like the Julian calendar before it, has twelve months:
The mean month length of the Gregorian calendar is 30.436875 days.
Months existing in the Roman calendar in the past include:
- Quintilis, renamed to July in honour of Julius Caesar.
- the mensis intercalaris, an occasional month after February to realign the calendar.
- Sextilis, renamed to August in honour of Augustus.
The famous mnemonic Thirty days hath September is a common way of teaching the lengths of the months in the English-speaking world. Any five consecutive months not including February contain 153 days. The knuckles of the four fingers of ones hand and the spaces between them can be used to remember the lengths of the months. By making a fist, each month will be listed as one proceeds across the hand. All months landing on a knuckle are 31 days long and those landing between them are not. When the knuckle of the index finger is reached July, go back to the first knuckle or over to the first knuckle on the other fist, held next to the first and continue with August. This physical mnemonic has been taught to primary school students for many decades.
This cyclical pattern of month lengths matches the musical keyboard alternation of white and black keys with the note F correlating to the month of January.
3.3. Months in various calendars Relations between dates, weekdays, and months in the Gregorian calendar
Within a month, the following dates fall on the same weekday:
- 06, 13, 20, and 27
- 03, 10, 17, 24, and 31
- 07, 14, 21, and 28
- 01, 08, 15, 22, and 29
- 04, 11, 18, and 25
- 05, 12, 19, and 26
- 02, 09, 16, 23, and 30
Some months have the same date/weekday structure.
In a non-leap year:
- January 1 and December 31 fall on the same weekday e.g. in 2019 on a Tuesday
In a leap year:
- February 29 the leap day falls on the same weekday like February 1, 08, 15, 22, and August 1 see above; e.g. in 2020 on a Saturday
- February/August e.g. in 2020, they begin on a Saturday
3.4. Months in various calendars Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar has 12 or 13 months.
- Av, 30 days אב
- Marcheshvan, 29/30 days מַרְחֶשְׁוָן
- Shevat, 30 days שבט
- Elul, 29 days אלול
- Kislev, 30/29 days כסלו
- Nisan, 30 days ניסן
- Adar 2, 29 days אדר ב
- Tishri, 30 days תשרי
- Iyar, 30 days אייר
- Tammuz, 29 days תמוז
- Tevet, 29 days טבת
- Sivan, 30 days סיון
- Adar 1, 30 days, intercalary month אדר א
Adar 1 is only added 7 times in 19 years. In ordinary years, Adar 2 is simply called Adar.
3.5. Months in various calendars Islamic calendar
There are also twelve months in the Islamic calendar. They are named as follows:
- Shabān To Spread and Distribute شعبان
- Dhu al-Qidah The Master of Truce ذو القعدة
- Rabī’ ath-Thānī/Rabi` al-Aakhir/Rabi II Second spring or Last spring ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني
- Jumada ath-Thānī or Jumādā al-Thānī/Jumādā II Second Freeze or Last Freeze جمادى الآخر أو جمادى الثاني
- Dhu al-Hijjah The Possessor of Hajj ذو الحجة
- Rabī al-Awwal/Rabi I First Spring ربيع الأول
- Ramadān Parched Thirst رمضان
- Safar Empty/Yellow صفر
- Muharram Restricted/sacred محرّم
- Shawwāl To Be Light and Vigorous شوّال
- Jumada al-Awwal/Jumaada I First Freeze جمادى الأول
- Rajab To Respect رجب
See Islamic calendar for more information on the Islamic calendar.
3.6. Months in various calendars Hindu calendar
The Hindu calendar has various systems of naming the months. The months in the lunar calendar are:
These are also the names used in the Indian national calendar for the newly redefined months. Purushottam Maas or Adhik Maas translit. adhika = extra, māsa = month is an extra month in the Hindu calendar that is inserted to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned. "Purushottam" is an epithet of Vishnu, to whom the month is dedicated.
The names in the solar calendar are just the names of the zodiac sign in which the sun travels. They are
3.7. Months in various calendars Bahai calendar
The Bahai calendar is the calendar used by the Bahai Faith. It is a solar calendar with regular years of 365 days, and leap years of 366 days. Years are composed of 19 months of 19 days each 361 days, plus an extra period of "Intercalary Days" 4 in regular and 5 in leap years. The months are named after the attributes of God. Days of the year begin and end at sundown.
3.8. Months in various calendars Iranian calendar Persian calendar
The Iranian / Persian calendar, currently used in Iran and Afghanistan, also has 12 months. The Persian names are included in the parentheses. It begins on the northern Spring equinox.
- Aban 30 days, آبان
- Azar 30 days, آذر
- Farvardin 31 days, فروردین
- Dey 30 days, دی
- Mehr 30 days, مهر
- Shahrivar 31 days, شهریور
- Esfand 29 days- 30 days in leap year, اسفند
- Tir 31 days, تیر
- Bahman 30 days, بهمن
- Mordad 31 days, مرداد
- Ordibehesht 31 days, اردیبهشت
- Khordad 31 days, خرداد
3.9. Months in various calendars Reformed Bengali calendar
The Bangla calendar, used in Bangladesh, follows solar months and it has six seasons. The months and seasons in the calendar are:
3.10. Months in various calendars Khmer calendar
Like the Hindu calendar, the Khmer calendar consists of both a lunar calendar and a solar calendar.
The Khmer solar calendar is used more commonly than the lunar calendar. There are 12 months and the numbers of days follow the Julian and Gregorian calendar.
The Khmer lunar calendar contains 12 months; however, the eighth month is repeated as a "leap-month" every two or three years, making 13 months instead of 12.
- វិសាខ/ ពិសាខ
- ឤសាឍ, or in the case of a year with a leap-month
3.11. Months in various calendars Tongan calendar
The Tongan calendar is based on the cycles of the moon around the earth in one year. The months are:
- Hilinga Meaa
- Vai Mua
- Liha Mui
- Vai Mui
- Fakaafu Mate
- Liha Mua
- Fakaafu Moui
- Hilinga Kelekele
3.12. Months in various calendars Sinhalese calendar
The Sinhalese calendar is the Buddhist calendar in Sri Lanka with Sinhala names. Each full moon Poya day marks the start of a Buddhist lunar month. The first month is Vesak.
- Mædin මැදින්
- Bak බක්
- Poson පොසොන්
- Duruthu දුරුතු
- Vap වප්
- Nikini නිකිණි
- Unduvap උඳුවප්
- Navam නවම්
- Vesak වෙසක්
- Æsala ඇසල
- iL ඉල්
- Binara බිනර
3.13. Months in various calendars Germanic calendar
The old Icelandic calendar is not in official use anymore, but some Icelandic holidays and annual feasts are still calculated from it. It has 12 months, broken down into two groups of six often termed "winter months" and "summer months". The calendar is peculiar in that the months always start on the same weekday rather than on the same date. Hence Þorri always starts on a Friday sometime between January 22 and January 28 Old style: January 9 to January 15, Goa always starts on a Sunday between February 21 and February 27 Old style: February 8 to February 14.
- Skammdegi "Short days"
- Gormanudur mid October - mid November, "slaughter month" or "Gors month"
- Morsugur mid December - mid January, "fat sucking month"
- Þorri mid January - mid February, "frozen snow month"
- Ylir mid November - mid December, "Yule month"
- Einmanudur mid March - mid April, "lone" or "single month"
- Nattleysi "Nightless days"
- Skerpla mid May - mid June, another forgotten goddess
- Haustmanudur mid September - mid October, "autumn month"
- Tvimanudur mid August - mid September, "two" or "second month"
- Heyannir mid July - mid August, "hay business month"
- Solmanudur mid June - mid July, "sun month"
3.14. Months in various calendars Old Georgian calendar
*NOTE: New Year in ancient Georgia started from September.
3.15. Months in various calendars Old Swedish calendar
- Gojemånad February, Goes month ancient goddess)
- Blomstermånad May, Bloom month
- Grasmånad April, Grass month
- Skordemånad, Rotmånad August, Harvest month or Rot month
- Torsmånad January, Torres month ancient god)
- Homånad July, Hay month
- Vintermånad November, Winter month
- Julmånad December, Christmas month
- Vårmånad March, Spring month
- Slaktmånad October, Slaughter month
- Hostmånad September, Autumn month
- Sommarmånad June, Summer month
3.16. Months in various calendars Old English calendar
Like the Old Norse calendar, the Anglo-Saxons had their own calendar before they were Christianized which reflected native traditions and deities. These months were attested by Bede in his works On Chronology and The Reckoning of Time written in the 8th century. His months are probably those as written in the Northumbrian dialect of Old English which he was familiar with. The months were so named after the moon; the new moon marking the end of an old month and start of a new month; the full moon occurring in the middle of the month, after which the month was named.
- Æfterra-gēola mōnaþ January, After-Yule month
- Sol-mōnaþ February, Sol month
- Hālig-mōnaþ or Hærfest-mōnaþ September, Holy month or Harvest month
- Hrēd-mōnaþ March, Hreth month
- Ærra-gēola mōnaþ December, Ere-Yule
- Ēostur-mōnaþ April, Ēostur month
- Winter-fylleþ October, Winter-filleth
- Weōd-mōnaþ August, Weed month
- Ærra-Liþa June, Ere-Litha
- Blōt-mōnaþ November, Blot month
- Æftera-Liþa July, After-Litha
- Drimilce-mōnaþ May, Three-milkings month
3.17. Months in various calendars Old Hungarian calendar
Nagyszombati kalendarium in Latin: Calendarium Tyrnaviense from 1579. Historically Hungary used a 12-month calendar that appears to have been zodiacal in nature but eventually came to correspond to the Gregorian months as shown below:
- Kisasszony hava August, month of the Virgin
- Szent Gyorgy hava April, Saint Georges month
- Karacsony hava December, month of Yule/Christmas
- Bojtmas hava March, second month of fasting/Lent
- Szent Andras hava November, Saint Andrews month
- Bojtelo hava February, month of early fasting/Lent or month before fasting/Lent
- Mindszent hava October, all saints month
- Szent Ivan hava June, Saint John s month
- Punkosd hava May, Pentecost month
- Boldogasszony hava January, month of the happy/blessed lady
- Szent Mihaly hava September, Saint Michaels month
- Szent Jakab hava July, Saint James month
3.18. Months in various calendars Czech calendar
- Prosinec - derives from old Czech prosineti, which means to shine through refers to the sun light shining through the clouds
- eijen - derives from jeleni eije, which refers to the estrous cycle of female elk
- unor - derives from noeit to dive, referring to the ice sinking into the water due to melting
- Červen - derives from cervena red - for the color of apples and tomatoes
- Listopad - falling leaves
- Beezen - derives from beiza birch
- Červenec - is the second cerven formerly known as 2nd cerven
- Leden - derives from led ice
- Zaei - means to shine
- Kveten - derives from kvet flower
- Duben - derives from dub oak
- Srpen - derives from old Czech word sirpsti meaning to reflect, referring to the shine on the wheat
3.19. Months in various calendars Old Egyptian calendar
The ancient civil Egyptian calendar had a year that was 365 days long and was divided into 12 months of 30 days each, plus 5 extra days epagomenes at the end of the year. The months were divided into 3 "weeks" of ten days each. Because the ancient Egyptian year was almost a quarter of a day shorter than the solar year and stellar events "wandered" through the calendar, it is referred to as Annus Vagus or "Wandering Year".
3.20. Months in various calendars Nisgaa calendar
The Nisgaa calendar coincides with the Gregorian calendar with each month referring to the type of harvesting that is done during the month.
- Kaliiyee = Going North - referring to the Sun returning to its usual place in the sky
- Yansaalt = Leaves are Blooming - Warm weather has arrived and leaves on the trees begin to bloom
- Luutaa = Sit In - the Sun "sits" in one spot for a period of time
- Buxwlaks = Needles Blowing About - February is usually a very windy month in the Nass River Valley
- Misoo = Sockeye - majority of Sockeye Salmon runs begin this month
- Mmaal = Canoes - The river has defrosted, hence canoes are used once more
- Xsaak = To Eat Oolichans - Oolichans are harvested during this month
- Gwilatkw = To Blanket - The earth is "blanketed" with snow
- Xlaaxw = To Eat Trout - trout are mostly eaten this time of year
- Genuugwwikw = Trail of the Marmot - Marmots, Ermines and animals as such are hunted
- Wii Hoon = Great Salmon - referring to the abundance of Salmon that are now running
- Maay = Berries - berry picking season
3.21. Months in various calendars French Republican calendar
This calendar was proposed during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about twelve years from late 1793. There were twelve months of 30 days each, grouped into three ten-day weeks called decades. The five or six extra days needed to approximate the tropical year were placed after the months at the end of each year. A period of four years ending on a leap day was to be called a Franciade. It began at the autumn equinox:
3.22. Months in various calendars Eastern Ojibwe calendar
Ojibwe month names are based on the key feature of the month. Consequently, months between various regions have different names based on the key feature of each month in their particular region. In the Eastern Ojibwe, this can be seen in when the sucker makes its run, which allows the Ojibwe to fish for them. Additionally, in the Eastern Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary, Dr. Richard Rhodes also informs of not only the variability in the month names but how in the Eastern Ojibwe, these names were originally applied to the lunar months the Ojibwe originally used, which was a lunisolar calendar marked by the moon, fixed to Akiinaaniwan typically December 27 that marks when sunrise is the latest in the Northern Hemisphere. Due to Eastern Ojibwe is a vowel syncope dialect, the elided vowels and the occasionally elided consonants have been added back in the table below, shown in brackets.
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