Year in and year out, calendars are the trusted timekeepers that help us remember everything from our obligations to our celebrations. Whether on your phone or on your wall, the meses del año keep track of the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other fun fiestas that turn life into a memorable and epic existence.
From January to December, we list the months of the year in Spanish, but don’t jump the gun-time hasn’t always been told in a tale of twelve meses (months). Back in the days when Rome ruled the world, the Roman Republican calendar was only ten months long. Not only that, but a week was eight días (days) and the año (year) began in March! When Julius Cesar claimed the crown, he added two more months to give us the twelve meses we know and listed below.
Los meses and some fun fiestas
|enero||January||In many Spanish-speaking countries, the Christmas holidays don’t end with a hangover on January 1st, but rather on el Día de los Reyes (Epiphany) on January 6th. From Spain to Mexico, numerous countries celebrate the arrival of los Reyes Magos (the Three Wise Men) with parades, presents and, claro, a Rosca de Reyes.|
|febrero||February||Nestled between the gluttonous indulgence of the winter holidays and the austere sobriety of Lent sit the very festive and very fun weeks of Carnaval. The colorful and musical celebration occurs throughout Spain and Latin America, but some of the boldest, biggest and best fiestas can be found in the Islas Canarias, Cadiz, Ágilas (Spain), Barranquilla (Colombia), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Guaranda (Ecuador).|
|marzo||March||In 2013, Argentine wine was officially declared the bebida nacional (national drink) of Argentina (and it is no secret why). In the 19 provinces that produce wine, some outstanding and delectable Malbecs, Criolla Grande, Bonarda and other wines are created. Malbecs from Mendoza are the emblematic Argentine wine and are exported around the world. Enjoy a glass (or few) during the three-day festival in Mendoza dedicated to the bebida nacional during the first week of March.|
|abril||April||Along with the arrival of captivating cherry blossoms, April ushers in the week-long festivities and processions of Semana Santa (Holy Week). The procesiones and pasos (floats) are particularly spectacular in the south of Spain (check out Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Cadiz). Léon (Nicaragua) has striking sawdust pavement paintings and Antigua (Guatemala) lines the streets with colorful carpets-true obras de arte (works of art) not to be missed.|
|mayo||May||If you are a chocolate connoisseur, then Punta Gorda is the place to be on May 22 to kick off the three-day Chocolate Festival of Belize. Toledo, the country’s southernmost district, is ripe with cacao plantations along with a climate that residents believe give their chocolate a unique flavor. Celebrate cacao, boutique chocolate, wild rainforests and ancient Mayan culture all in one trip.|
|junio||June||On the longest day of the year (the summer solstice) you can pay homage to Inti, the Aztec Sun God, during a 9-day festival in Cusco, Peru. Inti Raymi is Peru’s biggest festival (a standing it has held for the past 500 years) and is a dazzling revival of the ancient Aztec culture (including the faux sacrifice of a llama).|
|julio||July||On November 24, 1961, Panama law declared July 22nd to be the official Día Nacional de la Pollera. The biggest fiesta is in La Tabla, where you can glimpse the most spectacular pollera dresses and also witness the crowning of the Reina de la Pollera (Queen of the Pollera).|
|agosto||August||Flowers, flowers, everywhere. Every year since 1957, the city of Medellin (Colombia) bursts into full bloom with floral processions featuring silleteros (porters carrying flower arrangements on their backs), exhibitions at the Botanical Garden and una Cabalgata (a horse cavalcade) in agosto.|
|septiembre||September||The Virgen del Valle is the patron saint of fishermen, sailors and anyone else venturing out into the open blue sea. Every March 8th on the Isla Margarita (Venezuela), thousands of pilgrims arrive to lavish the saint with praise and thanks, marking the beginning of a week-long festival featuring a blessing of the fleet procession.|
|octubre||October||The Festival del Cristo Negro (Black Christ Festival) in the Caribbean town of Portobelo, Panama is a celebration of Catholic tradition alongside Afro-Panamanian identity. On October 21st, join the more than 60,000 pilgrims that will descend on the town to pay penance and perform other acts of devotion at the Iglesia de San Felipe.|
|noviembre||November||Ride out your Halloween sugar-high in Mexico celebrating the UNESCO Heritage celebration, Día de los Muertos, on November 1st and 2nd. The festival’s spiritual home is in Oaxaca, but you will still find locals dressed for the dead, taking part in parades and making offerings to lost loved ones (a favorite meal, pan de muerto or sugar skulls) in cemeteries across the country.|
|diciembre||December||The dark days of winter are the host to a plethora of spooky celebrations, but the Quemada del Diablo, celebrated in every village in Guatemala on December 7th, is one for the books. To rid the body and soul of the trials and tribulations of the past year, large (and small) devil figures are built, and then burned, in a large bonfire to usher in a new state of grace before the New Year.|
Tips to remember
You might have already noticed from the list above, but los meses (the months) aren’t capitalized in Spanish. The same is true for los días (the days) of the week as well as the seasons of the year: invierno (winter), primavera (spring), verano (summer), and otoño (fall).
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2 thoughts on “Learn the months of the year in Spanish”
Very well presented. Every quote was awesome and thanks for sharing the content. Keep sharing and keep motivating others.
Muy bien, companeros y companeras!!! Please keep in mind that in South America, the seasons are in reverse, not the months, though. So Christmas is in their summer etc. – This is all for today. Hasta pronto.