Friday, March 30, 2012

Finnish Month Names

I'm trying to learn the names of the Finnish months. Partially because I really should know more than 6 of them by now, but also because I love the descriptive names they have. 

For years I've been working on a series of poems based on some old names of the various moons of the year, Owl Moon, Moon of the Long Knives, Harvest Moon, etc. The Finns have named their months after the moons. Some of them are beautiful and very apt. 

tammikuu – January, heart of winter, oak moon, axis core
helmikuu – February, pearl moon, snow melting on trees refreezing look like pearls
maaliskuu  March, earth month, when the earth becomes visible under the snow
huhtikuu – April, burn-beaten area month, this is the month where you cut down the trees, the huhta, that grew in the area you planned to cultivate. They were left to dry until summer and then burned which would the fertilise the field. 
toukokuu – May, sowing or seeding month
kesäkuu – June, summer or ploughing moon
heinäkuu – July, hay moon
elokuu – August, harvest moon
syyskuu – September, autumn moon
lokakuu - October, mud moon
marraskuuta – November, dying moon
joulukuuta – December, Christmas moon

I'm now working on a series of poems based on the Finnish month names. Slowly. 

We're now leaving the Earth Month, with the ground finally making a strong appearance from under the snow. Snowdrops and crocuses are sticking out their inquisitive noses to take in the sun. We're heading into the time to prepare for cultivation, a time to make plans and set foundations for new beginnings.

It's a good feeling. 

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