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A month is a unit of time, used with calendars, that is approximately as long as a natural orbital period of the Moon; the words month and Moon are cognates. The traditional concept of months arose with the cycle of Moon phases; such lunar months ("lunations") are synodic months and last approximately 29.53 days, making for roughly 12.37 such months in one Earth year. From excavated tally sticks, researchers have deduced that people counted days in relation to the Moon's phases as early as the Paleolithic age. Synodic months, based on the Moon's orbital period with respect to the Earth–Sun line, are still the basis of many calendars today and are used to divide the year.

Calendars that developed from the Roman calendar system, such as the internationally used Gregorian calendar, divide the year into 12 months, each of which lasts between 28 and 31 days. The names of the months were Anglicized from various Latin names and events important to Rome, except for the months 9–12, which are named after the Latin numerals 7–10 (septem, octo, novem, and decem) because they were originally the seventh through tenth months in the Roman calendar. In the modern Gregorian calendar, the only month with a variable number of days is the second month, February, which has 29 days during a leap year and 28 days otherwise.

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) were first recognized in Babylonian lunar astronomy.

  1. The sidereal month is defined as the Moon's 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 (27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.6 seconds). It is closely equal to the time it takes the Moon to twice pass a "fixed" star (different stars give different results because all have a very small proper motion and are not really fixed in position).
  2. 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 (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.8 seconds). Due to the eccentricity of the lunar orbit around Earth (and to a lesser degree, the Earth's elliptical orbit around the Sun), the length of a synodic month can vary by up to seven hours.
  3. 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.
  4. An anomalistic month is the average time the Moon takes to go from perigee to perigee—the point in the Moon's orbit when it is closest to Earth. An anomalistic month is about 27.55455 days on average.
  5. 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 Moon's orbit crosses the plane of the Earth's orbit. Its duration is about 27.21222 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.

Calendrical consequences

At the simplest level, most well-known lunar calendars are based on the initial approximation that 2 lunations last 59 solar days: a 30-day full month followed by a 29-day hollow month — but this is only roughly accurate and regularly needs intercalation (correction) by a leap day.

Additionally, the synodic month does not fit easily into the solar (or 'tropical') year, which makes accurate, rule-based lunisolar calendars that combine the two cycles 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 6,940 days): 12 years have 12 lunar months, and 7 years are 13 lunar months long. However, a Metonic calendar based year will drift against the seasons by about one day every 2 centuries. Metonic calendars include the calendar used in the Antikythera Mechanism about 21 centuries ago, and the Hebrew calendar.

Alternatively in a pure lunar calendar, years are defined as having always 12 lunations, so a year is 354 or 355 days long: the Islamic calendar is the prime example. Consequently, an Islamic year is about 11 days shorter than a solar year and cycles through the seasons in about 33 solar = 34 lunar years: the Islamic New Year has a different Gregorian calendar date in each (solar) year.

Purely solar calendars often 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, or are purely conventional like in the widely used Gregorian calendar.

The complexity required in an accurate lunisolar calendar may explain why solar calendars have generally replaced lunisolar and lunar calendars for civil use in most societies.

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 orthodox Islam and the Jewish Karaites still rely on actual moon observations, reliance on astronomical calculations and tabular methods is increasingly common in practice.

Ahom Calendar

There are 12 months and an additional leap year month in the Ahom sexagenary calendar known as Lak-ni. The first month is Duin Shing.

No. Name Ahom script Gregorian Month
1 Duin-Shing 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜋𑜢𑜂𑜫 November-December
2 Duin-Kam 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜀𑜪 December-January
3 Duin-Tsam 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜏𑜪 January-February
4 Duin-Shi 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜏𑜢 February-March
5 Duin-Ha 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜑𑜡 March-April
6 Duin-Rok 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜍𑜤𑜀𑜫 April-May
7 Duin-Shit 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜋𑜢𑜄𑜫 May-June
8 Duin-paet 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜆𑜢𑜤𑜄𑜫 June-July
9 Duin-kauo 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜀𑜰𑜫 July-August
10 Duin-sip 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜏𑜢𑜆𑜫 August-September
11 Duin-tsip-it 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜏𑜢𑜆𑜫 𑜒𑜪𑜄𑜫 September-October
12 Duin-sip-song 𑜓𑜢𑜤𑜃𑜫 𑜏𑜢𑜆𑜫 𑜁 October-November

Roman calendar

The Roman calendar was reformed several times, the last three enduring reforms during historical times. The last three reformed Roman calendars are called the Julian, Augustan, and Gregorian; all had the same number of days in their months. Despite other attempts, the names of the months after the Augustan calendar reform have persisted, and the number of days in each month (except February) have remained constant since before the Julian reform. The Gregorian calendar, like the Roman calendars before it, has twelve months, whose Anglicized names are:

Order Name Number
of days
1 January 31
2 February 28
29 in leap years
3 March 31
4 April 30
5 May 31
6 June 30
7 July
formerly Quinctilis
8 August
formerly Sextilis
9 September 30
10 October 31
11 November 30
12 December 31
On top of the knuckles (yellow): 31 days
Between the knuckles (blue): 30 days
February (red) has 28 or 29 days. The white keys of the musical keyboard correspond to months with 31 day months. (F corresponds to January.)

The famous mnemonic Thirty days hath September is a common way of teaching the lengths of the months in the English-speaking world. The knuckles of the four fingers of one's 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 30 days long, with variable February being the remembered exception. When the knuckle of the index finger is reached (July), go over to the first knuckle on the other fist, held next to the first (or go back to the first knuckle) and continue with August. This physical mnemonic has been taught to primary school students for many decades, if not centuries.

This cyclical pattern of month lengths matches the musical keyboard alternation of wide white keys (31 days) and narrow black keys (30 days). The note F corresponds to January, the note F♯ corresponds to February, the exceptional 28–29 day month, and so on.

Numerical relations

The mean month-length in the Gregorian calendar is 30.436875 days.

Any five consecutive months, that do not include February, contain 153 days.

Calends, nones, and ides

Months in the pre-Julian Roman calendar included:

The Romans divided their months into three parts, which they called the calends, the nones, and the ides. Their system is somewhat intricate. The ides occur on the thirteenth day in eight of the months, but in March, May, July, and October, they occur on the fifteenth. The nones always occur 8 days (one Roman 'week') before the ides, i.e., on the fifth or the seventh. The calends are always the first day of the month, and before Julius Caesar's reform fell sixteen days (two Roman weeks) after the ides (except the ides of February and the intercalary month).

Relations between dates, weekdays, and months in the Gregorian calendar

Within a month, the following dates fall on the same day of the week:

Some months have the same date/weekday structure.

In a non-leap year:

In a leap year:

Hebrew calendar

The Hebrew calendar has 12 or 13 months.

  1. Nisan, 30 days ניסן
  2. Iyar, 30 days אייר
  3. Sivan, 30 days סיון
  4. Tammuz, 29 days תמוז
  5. Av, 30 days אב
  6. Elul, 29 days אלול
  7. Tishri, 30 days תשרי
  8. Marcheshvan, 29/30 days מַרְחֶשְׁוָן
  9. Kislev, 30/29 days כסלו
  10. Tevet, 29 days טבת
  11. Shevat, 30 days שבט
  12. Adar 1, 30 days, intercalary month אדר א
  13. Adar 2, 29 days אדר ב

Adar 1 is only added 7 times in 19 years. In ordinary years, Adar 2 is simply called Adar.

Islamic calendar

There are also twelve months in the Islamic calendar. They are named as follows:

  1. Muharram (Restricted/sacred) محرّم
  2. Safar (Empty/Yellow) صفر
  3. Rabī' al-Awwal/Rabi' I (First Spring) ربيع الأول
  4. Rabī' ath-Thānī/Rabi' al-Aakhir/Rabi' II (Second spring or Last spring) ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني
  5. Jumada al-Awwal/Jumaada I (First Freeze) جمادى الأول
  6. Jumada ath-Thānī or Jumādā al-Thānī/Jumādā II (Second Freeze or Last Freeze) جمادى الآخر أو جمادى الثاني
  7. Rajab (To Respect) رجب
  8. Sha'bān (To Spread and Distribute) شعبان
  9. Ramadān (Parched Thirst) رمضان
  10. Shawwāl (To Be Light and Vigorous) شوّال
  11. Dhu al-Qi'dah (The Master of Truce) ذو القعدة
  12. Dhu al-Hijjah (The Possessor of Hajj) ذو الحجة

See Islamic calendar for more information on the Islamic calendar.

Arabic calendar

Gregorian month Arabic month
January يناير كانون الثاني Kanun Al-Thani
February فبراير شباط Shebat
March مارس اذار Adhar
April ابريل نيسان Nisan
May مايو أيّار Ayyar
June يونيو حزيران Ḩazayran
July يوليو تمّوز Tammuz
August أغسطس اَب ʕAb
September سبتمبر أيلول Aylul
October أكتوبر تشرين الأول Tishrin Al-Awwal
November نوفمبر تشرين الثاني Tishrin Al-Thani
December ديسمبر كانون الأول Kanun Al-Awwal

Hindu calendar

The Hindu calendar has various systems of naming the months. The months in the lunar calendar are:

Sanskrit name Tamil name Telugu name Nepali name Assamese name
1 Vaiśākha (वैशाख) Vaikasi (வைகாசி) Vaisaakhamu (వైశాఖము) Baisakh (बैशाख) Bahāg (বহাগ)
2 Jyeṣṭha (ज्येष्ठ) Aani (ஆனி) Jyeshttamu (జ్యేష్ఠము) Jeth (जेष्ठ/जेठ) Jeth (জেঠ)
3 Ashadha (आषाढ) Aadi (ஆடி) Aashaadhamu (ఆషాఢము) Asaar (आषाढ/असार) Āsār/Āhār (আষাঢ়/আহাৰ)
4 Śrāvaṇa (श्रावण) Aavani (ஆவணி) Sraavanamu (శ్రావణము) Saaoon (श्रावण/साउन) Sāoon (শাওণ)
5 Bhadrapada (भाद्रपद) Purratasi (புரட்டாசி) Bhaadhrapadamu (భాద్రపదము) Bhadau (भाद्र|भदौ) Bhādo (ভাদ)
6 Āśvina (अश्विन) Aiypasi (ஐப்பசி) Aasveeyujamu (ఆశ్వయుజము) Asoj (आश्विन/असोज) Āhin (আহিন)
7 Kārtika (कार्तिक/कात्तिक) Kaarthigai (கார்த்திகை) Kaarthikamu (కార్తీకము) Kaattick(कार्तिक/ कात्तिक) Kāti (কাতি)
8 Mārgaśīrṣa (मार्गशीर्ष) Maargazhi (மார்கழி) Maargaseershamu (మార్గశిరము) Mangsir (मार्ग/मंसिर) Āghun (আঘোণ)
9 Pauṣa (पौष) Thai (தை) Pushyamu (పుష్యము) Push (पौष/पुष/पूस) Puh (পুহ)
10 Māgha (माघ) Maasi (மாசி) Maaghamu (మాఘము) Magh (माघ) Māgh (মাঘ)
11 Phālguna (फाल्गुन) Panguni (பங்குனி) Phaalgunamu (ఫాల్గుణము) Faagoon (फाल्गुन/फागुन) Fāgoon (ফাগুণ)
12 Chaitra (चैत्र) Chitirai (சித்திரை) Chaithramu (చైత్రము) Chait (चैत्र/चैत) Chot (চ'ত)

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

  1. Mesha
  2. Vrishabha
  3. Mithuna
  4. Kataka
  5. Simha
  6. Kanyaa
  7. Tulaa
  8. Vrishcika
  9. Dhanus
  10. Makara
  11. Kumbha
  12. Miina

Baháʼí calendar

The Baháʼí calendar is the calendar used by the Baháʼí 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.

Iranian calendar (Persian calendar)

The Iranian / Persian calendar, currently used in Iran, also has 12 months. The Persian names are included in the parentheses. It begins on the northern Spring equinox.

  1. Farvardin (31 days, فروردین)
  2. Ordibehesht (31 days, اردیبهشت)
  3. Khordad (31 days, خرداد)
  4. Tir (31 days, تیر)
  5. Mordad (31 days, مرداد)
  6. Shahrivar (31 days, شهریور)
  7. Mehr (30 days, مهر)
  8. Aban (30 days, آبان)
  9. Azar (30 days, آذر)
  10. Dey (30 days, دی)
  11. Bahman (30 days, بهمن)
  12. Esfand (29 days- 30 days in leap year, اسفند)

Reformed Bengali calendar

The Bengali calendar, used in Bangladesh, follows solar months and it has six seasons. The months and seasons in the calendar are:

No. Name (Bengali) Name (Sylheti) Name (Rohingya) Season Days Roman months
1 Boishakh (বৈশাখ) Boishakh Boicák Grishmo (গ্রীষ্ম) 31 14 April – May
2 Joishtho (জ্যৈষ্ঠ) Zoit Zeth Grishmo (গ্রীষ্ম) 31 May – June
3 Asharh (আষাঢ়) Aaŗ Acár Borsha (বর্ষা) 31 June – July
4 Shrabon (শ্রাবণ) Haon Cón Borsha (বর্ষা) 31 July – August
5 Bhadro (ভাদ্র) Bhado Bádo Shorot (শরৎ) 31 August – September
6 Aashin (আশ্বিন) Ashin Acín Shorot (শরৎ) 30 September – October
7 Kartik (কার্তিক) Khati Hati Hemonto(হেমন্ত) 30 October – November
8 Ogrohayon (অগ্রহায়ণ) Aghon Óon Hemonto(হেমন্ত) 30 November – December
9 Poush (পৌষ) Phush Fuc Sheet (শীত) 30 December – January
10 Magh (মাঘ) Magh (মাঘ) Mak Sheet (শীত) 30 January – February
11 Falgun (ফাল্গুন) Fagun Fóon Boshonto (বসন্ত) 30 (31 in leap years) February – March
12 Choitro (চৈত্র) Soit Soit Boshonto (বসন্ত) 30 March – April

Nanakshahi calendar

The months in the Nanakshahi calendar are:

No. Name Punjabi Days Julian months
1 Chet ਚੇਤ 31 14 March – 13 April
2 Vaisakh ਵੈਸਾਖ 31 14 April – 14 May
3 Jeth ਜੇਠ 31 15 May – 14 June
4 Harh ਹਾੜ 31 15 June – 15 July
5 Sawan ਸਾਵਣ 31 16 July – 15 August
6 Bhadon ਭਾਦੋਂ 30 16 August – 14 September
7 Assu ਅੱਸੂ 30 15 September – 14 October
8 Katak ਕੱਤਕ 30 15 October – 13 November
9 Maghar ਮੱਘਰ 30 14 November – 13 December
10 Poh ਪੋਹ 30 14 December – 12 January
11 Magh ਮਾਘ 30 13 January – 11 February
12 Phagun ਫੱਗਣ 30/31 12 February – 13 March

Khmer calendar

Different from the Hindu calendar, the Khmer calendar consists of both a lunar calendar and a solar calendar. The solar is used more commonly than the lunar calendar.

Gregorian month Meaning Zodiac sign
English Khmer UNGEGN ALA-LC
January មករា Môkâréa Makarā មករ (UNGEGN: môkâr, ALA-LC: makar); "naga" Capricorn
February កុម្ភៈ Kŏmpheă Kumbhà ក្អម (UNGEGN: k'âm, ALA-LC: kʿʹam); "clay pitcher" Aquarius
March មិនា/មីនា Mĭnéa/Minéa Minā/Mīnā ត្រី (UNGEGN: trei, ALA-LC: trī); "fish" or "three/third" Pisces
April មេសា Mésa Mesā ចៀម (UNGEGN: chiĕm, ALA-LC: ciam); "sheep" Aries
May ឧសភា Ŭsâphéa Usabhā គោឈ្មោល (UNGEGN: koŭ chhmoŭl, ALA-LC: go jhmol); "bull" Taurus
June មិថុនា Mĭthŏnéa Mithunā គូ (UNGEGN: ku, ALA-LC: gū); "couple" Gemini
July កក្កដា Kâkkâda Kakkaṭā ក្ដាម (UNGEGN: kdam, ALA-LC: kṭām); "crab" Cancer
August សីហា Seiha Sīhā សីហៈ (UNGEGN: seihă, ALA-LC: sīhà); "lion" Leo
September កញ្ញា Kânhnhéa Kaññā ក្រមុំ (UNGEGN: krâmŭm, ALA-LC: kramuṃ); "maiden" Virgo
October តុលា Tŏléa Tulā ជញ្ជីង (UNGEGN: chônhching, ALA-LC: jañjīng); "scales" Libra
November វិច្ឆិកា Vĭchchhĕka Vicchikā ខ្ទួយ (UNGEGN: khtuŏy, ALA-LC: khtuay); "scorpion" Scorpio
December ធ្នូ Thnu Dhnū ធ្នូ (UNGEGN: thnu, ALA-LC: dhnū); "bow", "arc" Sagittarius

The Khmer lunar calendar most often contains 12 months; however, the eighth month is repeated (as a "leap month") every two or three years, making 13 months instead of 12. Each lunar month has 29 or 30 days. The year normally has then 354 or 384 days (when an intercalary month is added), but the calendar follows the rules of the Gregorian calendar to determine leap years and add a lead day to one month, so the Khmer lunar year may have a total of 354, 355, 384 or 385 days.

No. Khmer month
1 មិគសិរ Mĭkôsĕr Migasir
2 បុស្ស Bŏss Puss
3 មាឃ Méakh Māgh
4 ផល្គុន Phâlkŭn Phalgun
5 ចេត្រ Chétr Cetr
6 វិសាខ/ពិសាខ Vĭsakh/Pĭsakh Visākh/Bisākh
7 ជេស្ឋ Chésth Jesṭh
(8a, 8b)
(បឋមសាឍ, ទុតិយាសាឍ)
(Bâthâmôsath, Tŭtĕyéasath)
ʿʹāsāḍh (Paṭhamasāḍh, Dutiyāsāḍh)
9 ស្រាពណ៍ Srapôn Srābaṇ ̊
10 ភទ្របទ Phôtrôbât Bhadrapad
11 អស្សុជ Âssŏch ʿʹassuj
12 កត្តិក Kâtdĕk Katṭik

Thai calendar

English name Thai name Abbr. Transcription Sanskrit word Zodiac sign
January มกราคม ม.ค. mokarakhom makara "sea-monster" Capricorn
February กุมภาพันธ์ ก.พ. kumphaphan kumbha "pitcher, water-pot" Aquarius
March มีนาคม มี.ค. minakhom mīna "(a specific kind of) fish" Pisces
April เมษายน เม.ย. mesayon meṣa "ram" Aries
May พฤษภาคม พ.ค. phruetsaphakhom vṛṣabha "bull" Taurus
June มิถุนายน มิ.ย. mithunayon mithuna "a pair" Gemini
July กรกฎาคม ก.ค. karakadakhom karkaṭa "crab" Cancer
August สิงหาคม ส.ค. singhakhom siṃha "lion" Leo
September กันยายน ก.ย. kanyayon kanyā "girl" Virgo
October ตุลาคม ต.ค. tulakhom tulā "balance" Libra
November พฤศจิกายน พ.ย. phruetsachikayon vṛścika "scorpion" Scorpio
December ธันวาคม ธ.ค. thanwakhom dhanu "bow, arc" Sagittarius

Tongan calendar

The Tongan calendar is based on the cycles of the Moon around the Earth in one year. The months are:

  1. Liha Mu'a
  2. Liha Mui
  3. Vai Mu'a
  4. Vai Mui
  5. Faka'afu Mo'ui
  6. Faka'afu Mate
  7. Hilinga Kelekele
  8. Hilinga Mea'a
  9. 'Ao'ao
  10. Fu'ufu'unekinanga
  11. 'Uluenga
  12. Tanumanga
  13. 'O'oamofanongo


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.

Kollam era (Malayalam) calendar

Malayalam name Transliteration Concurrent Gregorian months Sanskrit word and meaning Zodiac sign
ചിങ്ങം chi-ngnga-m August–September simha "lion" Leo
കന്നി ka-nni September–October kanyā "girl" Virgo
തുലാം thu-lā-m October–November tulā "balance" Libra
വൃശ്ചികം vRSh-chi-ka-m November–December vṛścika "scorpion" Scorpio
ധനു dha-nu December–January dhanu "bow, arc" Sagittarius
മകരം ma-ka-ra-m January–February mokara "sea-monster" Capricorn
കുംഭം kum-bha-m February–March kumbha "pitcher, water-pot" Aquarius
മീനം mee-na-m March–April mīna "(a specific kind of) fish" Pisces
മേടം mE-Da-m April–May meṣa "ram" Aries
ഇടവം i-Ta-va-m May – June vṛṣabha "bull" Taurus
മിഥുനം mi-thu-na-m June–July mithuna "a pair" Gemini
കർക്കടകം kar-kka-Ta-ka-m July–August karkaṭa "crab" Cancer

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 Bak.

  1. Duruthu (දුරුතු)
  2. Navam (නවම්)
  3. Mædin (මැදින්)
  4. Bak (බක්)
  5. Vesak (වෙසක්)
  6. Poson (පොසොන්)
  7. Æsala (ඇසල)
  8. Nikini (නිකිණි)
  9. Binara (බිනර)
  10. Vap (වප්)
  11. Il (iL) (ඉල්)
  12. Unduvap (උඳුවප්)

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), Góa always starts on a Sunday between February 21 and February 27 (Old style: February 8 to February 14).

  1. Gormánuður (mid-October – mid-November, "slaughter month" or "Gór's month")
  2. Ýlir (mid-November – mid-December, "Yule month")
  3. Mörsugur (mid-December – mid-January, "fat sucking month")
  4. Þorri (mid-January – mid-February, "frozen snow month")
  5. Góa (mid-February – mid-March, "Góa's month, see Nór")
  6. Einmánuður (mid-March – mid-April, "lone" or "single month")
  1. Harpa (mid-April – mid-May, Harpa is a female name, probably a forgotten goddess, first day of Harpa is celebrated as Sumardagurinn fyrsti – first day of summer)
  2. Skerpla (mid-May – mid-June, another forgotten goddess)
  3. Sólmánuður (mid-June – mid-July, "sun month")
  4. Heyannir (mid-July – mid-August, "hay business month")
  5. Tvímánuður (mid-August – mid-September, "two" or "second month")
  6. Haustmánuður (mid-September – mid-October, "autumn month")

Old Georgian calendar

Month Georgian month name Transliteration Georgian other names Transliteration
January აპნისი, აპანი Apnisi, Apani    
February სურწყუნისი Surtskunisi განცხადებისთვე Gantskhadebistve
March მირკანი Mirkani    
April იგრიკა Igrika    
May ვარდობისა Vardobisa ვარდობისთვე Vardobistve
June მარიალისა Marialisa თიბათვე, ივანობისთვე Tibatve, Ivanobistve
July თიბისა Tibisa მკათათვე, კვირიკობისთვე Mkatatve, Kvirikobistve
August ქველთობისა Kveltobisa მარიამობისთვე Mariamobistve
September ახალწლისა Akhaltslisa ენკენისთვე Enkenistve
October სთვლისა Stvlisa ღვინობისთვე Gvinobistve
November ტირისკონი Tiriskoni გიორგობისთვე, ჭინკობისთვე Giorgobistve, Chinkobistve
December ტირისდენი Tirisdeni ქრისტეშობისთვე Kristeshobistve

*NOTE: New Year in ancient Georgia started from September.

Old Swedish calendar

  1. Torsmånad (January, 'Torre's month' (ancient god))
  2. Göjemånad (February, 'Goe's month' (ancient goddess))
  3. Vårmånad (March, 'Spring month')
  4. Gräsmånad (April, 'Grass month')
  5. Blomstermånad (May, 'Bloom month')
  6. Sommarmånad (June, 'Summer month')
  7. Hömånad (July, 'Hay month')
  8. Skördemånad, Rötmånad (August, 'Harvest month' or 'Rot month')
  9. Höstmånad (September, 'Autumn month')
  10. Slaktmånad (October, 'Slaughter month')
  11. Vintermånad (November, 'Winter month')
  12. Julmånad (December, 'Christmas month')

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 Old English month names are probably written as pronounced in Bede's native Northumbrian dialect. The months were 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 whole month took its name.

Old English month names
from Bede's The Reckoning of Time
Old English
Modern English
1 Æfterra-ġēola mōnaþ     “After-Yule month” January
2 Sol-mōnaþ “Sol month” February
3 Hrēð-mōnaþ Hreth month” March
4 Ēostur-mōnaþ Ēostur month”
5 Ðrimilce-mōnaþ “Three-milkings month”    
6 Ærra-Liþa “Ere-Litha
7 Æftera-Liþa “After-Litha
8 Weōd-mōnaþ “Weed month”
9 Hāliġ-mōnaþ or
“Holy month” or
“Harvest month”
10 Winter-fylleþ “Winter-filleth”
11 Blōt-mōnaþ Blót month”
12 Ærra-ġēola mōnaþ “Ere-Yule

When an intercalary month was needed, a third Litha month was inserted in mid-summer.

Old Celtic calendar

The Coligny calendar (Gaulish/Celtic) is an Iron Age Metonic lunisolar calendar, with 12 lunar months of either 29 or 30 days. The lunar month is calculated to a precision of within 24 hours of the lunar phase, achieved by a particular arrangement of months, and the month of EQUOS having a variable length of 29 or 30 days to adjust for any lunar slippage. This setup means the calendar could stay precisely aligned to its lunar phase indefinitely.

The lunar month is divided into two halves, the first of 15 days and the second of 14 or 15 days. The month is calculated to start at the first quarter moon, with the full moon at the centre of the first half-month and the dark moon at the centre of the second half-month. The calendar does not rely on unreliable visual sightings.

An intercalary lunar month is inserted before every 30 lunar months to keep in sync with the solar year. Every 276 years this adds one day to the solar point, so if for example the calendar was 1,000 years old, it would only have slipped by less than 4 days against the solar year.

Name Days Meaning Modern months
I-1 Unknown 30 Intercalary One
1 Samonios 30 summer month May-June
2 Dumannios 29 June-July
3 Rivros 30 fat month July-August
4 Anagantios 29 August-September
5 Ogronios 30 cold month September-October
6 Cutios 30 wind month October-November
I-2 antaran 30 Intercalary Two
7 Giamonios 29 winter month November-December
8 Simivisonnios 30 December-January
9 Equos 29 or 30 January-February
10 Elembivios 29 February-March
11 Edrinios 30 month of heat March-April
12 Cantlos 29 month of song April-May

Old Hungarian calendar

Nagyszombati kalendárium (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:

  1. Boldogasszony hava (January, 'month of the happy/blessed lady')
  2. Böjtelő hava (February, 'month of early fasting/Lent' or 'month before fasting/Lent')
  3. Böjtmás hava (March, 'second month of fasting/Lent')
  4. Szent György hava (April, 'Saint George's month')
  5. Pünkösd hava (May, 'Pentecost month')
  6. Szent Iván hava (June, 'Saint John 's month')
  7. Szent Jakab hava (July, 'Saint James' month')
  8. Kisasszony hava (August, 'month of the Virgin')
  9. Szent Mihály hava (September, 'Saint Michael's month')
  10. Mindszent hava (October, 'all saints' month')
  11. Szent András hava (November, 'Saint Andrew's month')
  12. Karácsony hava (December, 'month of Yule/Christmas')

Czech calendar

  1. Leden – derives from 'led' (ice)
  2. Únor – derives from 'nořit' (to dive, referring to the ice sinking into the water due to melting)
  3. Březen – derives from 'bříza' (birch)
  4. Duben – derives from 'dub' (oak)
  5. Květen – derives from 'květ' (flower)
  6. Červen – derives from 'červená' (red – for the color of apples and tomatoes)
  7. Červenec – is the second 'červen' (formerly known as 2nd červen)
  8. Srpen – derives from old Czech word 'sirpsti' (meaning to reflect, referring to the shine on the wheat)
  9. Září – means 'to shine'
  10. Říjen – derives from 'jelení říje', which refers to the estrous cycle of female elk
  11. Listopad – falling leaves
  12. Prosinec – derives from old Czech 'prosiněti', which means to shine through (refers to the sun light shining through the clouds)

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".

  1. Thout
  2. Paopi
  3. Hathor
  4. Koiak
  5. Tooba
  6. Emshir
  7. Paremhat
  8. Paremoude
  9. Pashons
  10. Paoni
  11. Epip
  12. Mesori

Nisga'a calendar

The Nisga'a calendar coincides with the Gregorian calendar with each month referring to the type of harvesting that is done during the month.

  1. K'aliiyee = Going North – referring to the Sun returning to its usual place in the sky
  2. Buxwlaks = Needles Blowing About – February is usually a very windy month in the Nass River Valley
  3. Xsaak = To Eat Oolichans – Oolichans are harvested during this month
  4. Mmaal = Canoes – The river has defrosted, hence canoes are used once more
  5. Yansa'alt = Leaves are Blooming – Warm weather has arrived and leaves on the trees begin to bloom
  6. Miso'o = Sockeye – majority of Sockeye Salmon runs begin this month
  7. Maa'y = Berries – berry picking season
  8. Wii Hoon = Great Salmon – referring to the abundance of Salmon that are now running
  9. Genuugwwikw = Trail of the Marmot – Marmots, Ermines and animals as such are hunted
  10. Xlaaxw = To Eat Trout – trout are mostly eaten this time of year
  11. Gwilatkw = To Blanket – The earth is "blanketed" with snow
  12. Luut'aa = Sit In – the Sun "sits" in one spot for a period of time

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 décades. 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:

  1. Vendémiaire
  2. Brumaire
  3. Frimaire
  1. Nivôse
  2. Pluviôse
  3. Ventôse
  1. Germinal
  2. Floréal
  3. Prairial
  1. Messidor
  2. Thermidor
  3. Fructidor

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, Rhodes also informs of not only the variability in the month names, but how in Eastern Ojibwe these names were originally applied to the lunar months the Ojibwe originally used, which was a lunisolar calendar, fixed by the date of Akiinaaniwan (typically December 27) that marks when sunrise is the latest in the Northern Hemisphere.

Month in
Eastern Ojibwe
Original order in the Ojibwa year Starting at the first full moon after:
in those places that have a sucker run during that time
nmebin-giizis sucker moon 1 Akiinaaniwan on 27 December
February naabni-giizis Crust-on-the-snow moon 2 25 January
March ziizbaakdoke-giizis Sugaring moon 3 26 February
in those places that have a sucker run during that time
nmebin-giizis sucker moon 4 25 March
in those places that do not have a sucker run during that time
waawaasgone-giizis Flower moon
in those places that have an April sucker run
in those places that have a January sucker run
gtige-giizis Planting moon 5 24 April
in those places that have an April sucker run
in those places that have a January sucker run
dehmin-giizis Strawberry moon 6 23 May
July miin-giizis Blueberry moon 7 22 June
August datgaagmin-giizis Blackberry moon 8 20 July
September mdaamin-giizis Corn moon 9 18 August
October bnaakwe-giizis Leaves-fall moon 10 17 September
bnaakwii-giizis Harvest moon
November gshkadin-giizis Freeze-up moon 11 16 October
December gchi-bboon-giizis Big-winter moon 12 15 November
in those places that do not have a sucker run during that time
shki-bboon-giisoons Little new-winter moon 13
(leap month)
only used if the new moon after gchi-bboon-giizis occurs before Akiinaaniwan on 27 December.

See also

Look up month in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. ^ More precisely, the calends were when the name of a month first began being used when referring to dates. Instead of counting the number of days elapsed, the Romans used a countdown to number their dates. See the article Roman calendar for a more detailed explanation.
  2. ^ a b 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.


  1. ^ Macrobius, Saturnalia, tr. Percival Vaughan Davies (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), book I, chapters 12–13, pp. 89–95.
  2. ^ "Calculations or Sighting for starting an Islamic month". Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  3. ^ Chraibi, Khalid (9 April 2021). "Le mois islamique est-il universel ou national ?". Oumma (in French).
  4. ^ a b Phukan Baruah (1964), p. 193.
  5. ^ Kapoor (2021), p. 668.
  6. ^ "Days in each month". Mnemonics to Improve Memory. EUdesign. 1997. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  7. ^ The Boy Mechanic: A handy calendar. Vol. 1. Project Gutenberg. 1913 – via Full Books.
  8. ^ a b Esslemont (1980), pp. 178–179.
  9. ^ "What is the Sikh Nanakshahi calendar". All About Sikhs. Gateway to Sikhism. 2007. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Khmer Chankeate Calendar". Cambodian Coordinating Council. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. ^ Solomon, Stenson (2009). Pingelap Non-Sacred Knowledge. Historic Preservation Fund Grant Department of Land and Natural Resources.
  12. ^ "Sri Lanka – Festival Calendar". Premlanka Hotel. Curlew Communications Ltd. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  13. ^ "The Significance of Poya". Lanka Library. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b Newton (2000).
  15. ^ Bodroghy, Gabor Z. (1998). "The Calendar by Marsigli: the ancient Hungarian Calendar". The Ancient Hungarian Rovas. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Hónapok nevei". Free Web (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. ^ Kebrle, Vojtěch (1939). "Česká jména měsíců, jejich význam a původ". Naše řeč (in Czech). 23 (3): 65–67. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  18. ^ Clagett, Marshall (1995). Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. p. 28. ISBN 0-87169-214-7.
  19. ^ Rhodes, Richard A., ed. (1993) . Eastern Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary. Trends in Linguistics. Berlin, DE; New York, NY: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3110137491.