The origin of Albanian months' names
The archaic version of the month is Djegqerrës, which in English is the Month of the Burning Wagon. This may have come from January being the first month of the New Year, which was celebrated with fire as it represented the coming of the “new sun”.
Another archaic version of the month January is Kallnor, which came from the older version Kallëndour. It may have come from the Latin word calendarium, as January was the first month on the calendar.
JANARI | DJEGQERRËSI | KALLNORI
February comes from the Roman ritual Februa, which was a religious ceremony to purify them from evil spirits. It was celebrated in the middle of February.
The Albanian name for February is Shkurt, which means “short”, obviously because it is the shortest month of the year.
However, another name used in Albanian that was the translation of the Latin name (Februarius) is Fror.
March comes from the Latin name of Martius and the month was named after the Roman god of war, Mars. This month marked the beginning of the season for warfare, and many celebrations were held to honor Mars in hope he will in turn be on their side in battles.
Mars is the Albanian word for March.
However, the archaic version of the month is Lagëtur, lagë meaning “wet” in Albanian. This may possibly come form March being the turning of winter into spring, with snow melting and maybe a lot of rainfall, making it the wettest month.
MARSI | LAGËTURI
April comes from the Latin name Aprilis, which has na unknown meaning. This month, however, was sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, so it is believed to come from the Illyrian* equivalent, Afërdita.
The Albanian word for April is “Prill”, coming directly from Latin.
The archaic Albanian version of the name Abri, which could come from the word “bri”, a synonym for afër (by, close).
May comes from the Roman goddess Maia, who was the goddess of growth, maybe having to do with the fact that in May, flowers grow (bloom). The Albanian name, Maj, comes directly from the Latin name.
The archaic Albanian name for May is Luli, also probably coming from the fact that flowers (lule) bloom in May.
June comes from the Roman goddess Juno, who was the goddess of marriage. June was typically the month where weddings took place in the Roman times.The translated version of the name in Albanian is Xhun, however this is never used Albanian name for June is Qershor. It comes from the word for cherry, qershi.
It is called this because this is usually the month for when cherries are ready, making June the month of cherries.
The name July comes from Julius Caesar, the month being named after him. The Albanian equivalent to the Roman influenced name would be Juli.
The more accepted way to say July in Albanian is Korrik, which comes from the word “korrë” which means to harvest, as the summer fruits and vegetables are usually ready at this time.
August takes it's name from the first official emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus. He choose this month to be named after himself because it was the time of most of his greatest triumphs. The common name for August in Albanian is the Albanianized version of the Latin name, Gusht. However, the Albanian name is Djegagur, which translates to "burning rock", as August could be considered as the hottest month in Albania.
September comes from the Latin word for the number 7, septem, and this was the seventh month in the Roman calendar ( which didn’t have January and February).
The Albanian word for September is Shtator, which is a translation from the Latin word, as “shtat” means seven in Albanian
The archaic version of the month is Britm, which was an early word for Autumn in Albanian. Sometimes may even be referred to as Britmi i parë, the first fall month.
October comes from the Latin word for the number 8 (octo) as it was the 8th month in the original Roman calendar.
The Albanian word for October is Tetor which a translation from the Latin version of the word as tete is 8 in Albanian.
However, the archaic Albanian word for October is vjeshte, which now means “autumn” in the language. As it follows Septem ber, it can also be referred to as Britmi i Dyte (The Second Month o Fall)
November comes from the Latin word novem, which means 9, as it was the ninth month in the original Roman calendar.
The common Albanian word for November is a direct translation, Nëntor, as nëntë means 9.
The archaic name for November is Brymës, which come from the Latin word for winter, bruma.
November 28 is the most important day for Albanians, also called Flag Day. On this day Skenderbeu raised the Albanian flag for the first time in 1443 in Krujë. Over 400 years later on 1912, Ismail Qemali raised the flag in Vlorë, declaring independence from the ottoman Empire. Then again in 1997, the Kosova Liberation Army (UÇK) became public for the first time, raising the flag in fight for independence against Serbia.
NËNTOR | BRYMËSI
December comes from the Latin word for 10 (decem) as was the 10th month of the original 10 month Roman calendar.
In Albanian, Dhjetor is just a direct translation, as dhjete means 10. The archaic version of the name is Dimeror, dimer meaning winter in Albanian.
The modern language has a good mix of both true Albanian names and direct translated names form Latin for how the months are referred to.