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The Carpatho-Rusyn language, as well as its syster tongues, Ukrainian, Polish, Belarusian, Croatian and Czech have been able to largely resist the invasion of Latin month names. These slavic languages have retained the month names passed down from more ancient times and rooted in more universal attachment to nature. Only the latin names March and May have been able to force their way into the Carpatho-Rusyn calendar. Below is a chart showing the names of the months as notated in an almanac from the 1930's, before any spelling reforms.

Most of the names are derived from quite obvious turning of the seasons. Only in two instances do the names require additional explanation. Polish researchers maintain that the name for January, Sichen, comes from the name for boundary marks or property limits, and indicated the point where two years join.

The name "Red Month" can also cause some consternation. Sometimes this name it has been interpreted as being the month of red berries, despite the fact that berries very often can be blue or black or even other colors. This "red berry" explanation seems weak. The Polish researchers have noted the the words for worm (or larva) and (dark) red are closely related in all Slavic languages, the Russian "червь" and "червонный" being just one example. This led scientists to a much sounder explanation of the origin of this name.

The researchers went on to point out that a tiny insect or larva named the cochineal makes it appearance in early summer. This insect, the cochineal, until the middle ages was the only available source of red coloring or dye, and thus much coveted and sought efter. Early summer was the only time these tiny larva could be collected for the preparation of red dye. So June, in those ancient times, might just as well have been called the Month of the Gathering of the Red Worms.

The cochineal and its primary host, a perennial plant of the carnation family called knawel in Polish (or Scleranthus perennis in latin) were once found in a wide swath from the Ukraine and up across Europe into southern Sweden. In Sweden the same time of year was once called "rötmånad". This has long been interpreted as coming from "rot month" as the warmer seasonal temperatures and higher humidities could get foods to rot more quickly. But the Swedish work for red is "röd" or "rött" and so the Slavic explanation of the the origin of this name may even apply to the corresponding Swedish word. Sadly, the insect and its plant host are now both almost extinct because of the introduction of modern farming methods.

English
name

Carpatho-Rusyn
name

Pronunciation

Meaning

January Сѣчень Sichen month of touching years
February Лютый Ljutee cruel month
March Марецъ Marjets from the Latin equivalent
April Цвѣтень Kviten month of flowers
May Май May from the Latin equivalent
June Червень Cherven red month
July Липень Lypen month of the linden tree blossom
August Серпень Serpen month of the sickle
September Вересень Veresen month of heather
October Жолтень Sholten month of dying leaves and grass
November Листопадъ Listopad month of falling leaves
December Грудень Gruden month of frozen earth

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