From where East Slavic names of months take roots? Winter.
From where names of months of year in modern Russian undertook, know almost everything. Names of ancient Roman emperors, antique gods, derivatives of numerals … These borrowed names are not absolutely characteristic of ancient Slavic calendars. What names of months used in Russia since ancient times and, and, in general, what roots of names of months in languages of east Slavs? I will remind the reader that there are four groups of east Slavs: Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russinians (among them lemk).
The majority of ancient names of months arose at the time of paganism. At the same time not names of pagan gods, but the natural phenomena or features of an economic kind of activity of people characteristic of a certain season were the basis for names. The reasons of such regularity are quite clear. Not always climatic conditions of the territory of accommodation of east Slavs, favorable for agriculture, made the main kind of activity of our ancestors entirely depending on the natural phenomena. For example, climatic conditions taught Slavs to forecast the weather on the natural phenomena, having generated such quantity will accept which, perhaps, is not present at one of other groups of the people. Same “ prirodno - economic “ the mentality left the characteristic mark and on names of months.
The first month of winter - December . In an ancient Roman calendar December on the account was the tenth, for as received the name december coming from a Latin numeral of decem (ten). This month is in many respects remarkable. The day of a winter solstice falling on December 22 - the shortest day in a year. The nature this month finished the gradual dying down begun in an early autumn.
The lowering gray sky gave rise at Russians and Ukrainians to the name hmuren . The beginning snowfalls - Belarusian snezhan . The frosts catching the kneaded autumn dirt with frozen lumps (heaps) led to Ukrainian gruden and to Carpatho-Russian of breasts . Ukrainian we are afraid , apparently, there was from the word a coward and t , that is to shake, stir up small, or to pour.
Cold weather approach, the integral attribute of winter, led to emergence of the Russian names studen and stuzhaylo , Ukrainian jelly . However these names were less widespread and more characteristic of the next months winters. And here the Ukrainian Mostovik says to us that all reservoirs this month became covered by ice bridges.
January . The modern name is received from a name of ancient Roman Janus - god of time, began all also zaversheniye, entrances and exits (Latin of of ianus - a door). Quite symbolical name taking into account the provision of month in a modern calendar.
The old Russian name prosinets on one hypothesis indicated that the sky in connection with increase in day length is sated with blue or begins to shine (pro-shine). Especially such phenomenon is noticeable at this time at early bluish twilight. Other opinion prosinets connects with a folk custom of carrying out a Christmas-tide to which it was accepted to go on houses and to ask entertainments. Less often the name contacts millet (day increases absolutely on slightly - slightly, on a millet kernel) and a pig (Belarusian parasya), which was sacrificed to god of the new, born sun.
Russian sechen ( sechen ), Ukrainian sichen , and also Carpatho-Russian sichen ( sichen ), perhaps, is pointed that January - the critical month of winter halving its bitter colds. Other assumption is based that this season (due to the lack of vegetation) is the most suitable for the cabin of trees for the purpose of, in particular, preparation of new sowing lands. One more option of an origin - the word with a root sech (cold, a frost) is borrowed from old South Slavic languages.
Does not demand a special explanation Belarusian studzen and single-root Russian stuzhaylo and Carpatho-Russian stichen (i.e. ice cold, an icy cold, styt). The frosts characteristic of this winter period, Ukrainians diversified with names jelly , triskun , lyodovik , shchipun .
February , the second month in a year, is designated in honor of pagan god of an underground kingdom Februus or, in Russian, Febr. At this particular time pagans honored by means of the clearing sacrifices of the underground god Plutoniya called also Februusy. According to the similar version, this month is obliged by the name to a ceremony of cult clarification from sins, repentance in ancient Rome (Latin of of februarius - cleaning). As February was last month in a year, in it people tried to be cleared of all bad, saved up in a year.
From - for frequent blizzards and blizzards the last month of winter received from east Slavs of the name vetroduy , is lowered , kruten , snegosy . Belarusian of a lyuta , Ukrainian of lyutiya is reminded us of severe (fierce) February frosts. And here Russian bokogry speaks about the fast end of winter: the cattle comes to the warm sun to warm sides. The same is confirmed by the Ukrainian name mezhen , designating a boundary (border) between winter and in the spring.
Separately it is worth mentioning Ukrainian the zimobor which is taking away from winter its frosty force, krivodorig and kazibrid (kozobrod), doing roads and footpaths curve, twisting of - for abundances of the collected snow.]