Ah, the calendar page turns to November. This morning’s too-brief sunshine drew me outdoors. I could not resist taking the camera to capture some of the last of fall’s beauty in our garden.

Curious about the source of the name, I learned that in Latin, ‘novem’ means nine. November was the ninth month in the Roman calendar.

I also learned, to my great surprise, that ‘marraskuu’, the Finnish name for this month, means ‘month of the dead’. But wait, it may not be like Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead as celebrated in Mexico. It’s thought to come from the earth being ‘martaana’ or in a state of death. Yet, coming right after Halloween and on or near All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday in many countries in Europe, I can’t help wondering if it might be referring to the ancient traditions of honouring one’s ancestors at the same time. Curious, isn’t it?


November 1, 2007 in Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric by Marja-Leena