Monday, 18 January 2016
January - the heart month
Following my recently established tradition ;) of looking at the Finnish names of the months, we move on to January.
Tammikuu. I suspect that when most modern day Finns hear the word tammi they think about a tree. Tammi is an oak. But why would January be called "oak month"?
According to one interpretation, January is the hardest time of the year (cold, dark etc.) and since oak is known to be hard, durable wood, people started to call January the oak month.
However, the word tammi does not only refer to an oak tree. It can also mean a center or a heart or a middle. January falls in the middle of winter, it is in the heart of the cold time, and thus, it is said, it became known as tammikuu. In fact, January has sometimes been referred to as sydänkuu, "heart month".
(The trees in the picture aren't oaks and it's not even a picture taken this winter but some years ago... but it is a fitting image for January, I think.)