The Xhosa months of the year are poetically named after stars and seasonal plants of Southern Africa. The Xhosa year traditionally began in June and ended in May, when Canopus, the brightest star visible in the Southern Hemisphere, signalled the time for harvesting. In urban areas today, anglicised versions of the months are used, especially by the younger generation. But in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape – the old names still stand.
- January - EyoMqungu (month of the Tambuki Grass)
- February - EyoMdumba (month of the swelling grain)
- March - EyoKwindla (month of the first fruits)
- April - uTshaz'iimpuzi (month of the withering pumpkins)
- May - EyeCanzibe (month of Canopus)
- June - EyeSilimela (month of the Pleiades)
- July - EyeKhala (month of the aloes)
- August - EyeThupha (month of the buds)
- September - EyoMsintsi (month of the coast coral tree)
- October - EyeDwarha (month of the tall yellow daisies)
- November - EyeNkanga (month of the small yellow daisies)
- December - EyoMnga - (month of the acacia§ thorn tree)
§ Update: December was listed incorrectly as the month of the mimosa thorn tree. But as mimosa is not indigenous to South Africa, and only would have arrived here a few hundred years ago from South America; December should actually be the "month of the acacia thorn tree". Oxford English-Xhosa Dictionary backs this up.
~Jeff - Oct '16
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