Ar mìosan ainmhidheach – Animal months

Les mois de l’année en gâlic, sur le blog Scotland’s Nature.

Scotland's Nature

The English calendar is based on the Roman model, but the Gaelic names for the months of the year are closely linked to Scotland’s environment and our Celtic heritage. Three of them recall animals, both wild and domesticated, as Ruairidh MacIlleathain explains. Read the full Gaelic version below.

Wolf in Highland Wildlife Park near Kincraig. ©Lorne Gill Madadh-allaidh aig Pàirc Fiadh-Bheatha na Gàidhealtachd faisg air Ceann na Creige. Wolf in Highland Wildlife Park near Kincraig. ©Lorne Gill

The Gaelic calendar is strongly linked to both the Scottish environment and our Celtic heritage. Only one month (AmMàrt/March) has anything in common with the English names for months, with both being based on the Roman style of naming.

Three Gaelic months are named after animals. January is Am Faoilleach (sounds like um FOEUIL*-yuch, where * is similar to the vowel sound in the French oeuf). This is the ‘wolf month’, when these wild animals were reputedly…

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