I vote we turn June, Cireşar how it is called in Romanian folklore, from the cherries twice ripe now, the month of everyone who’s young at heart. Who’s with me? 😉
June, a month whose name is as old as time
Yes, June derives from Latin Junius, but it is assumed that it could actually be derived from junior, juniores, meaning a younger man in Latin, the youth.
This way, it makes sense that this month of June be meant to celebrate the young population of the Roman Empire, juvenis, juvene.
“Romulus organised the people,Ovid in Fasti, Book Six, June
Dividing them into two parts, according to age:
One was ready to give advice, the other to fight:
One decided on war, while the other waged it.
So he decreed, and divided the months likewise:
June for the young (iuvenes): the month before for the old.”
Why June ought to be the month of those young at heart
One must be realistic now and consider the life expectancy (not life span) during the times of the Roman Empire, that was of about 25 years of age (factoring in the high infant and child mortality).
While today, the life expectancy of men and women had long opened wide the gates of the eighties.
As old blue eyes put it, “For it’s hard, you will find / To be narrow of mind if you’re young at heart.” 🙂
So, again, I think we ought to turn June, Cireşar (a month when the cherries, aptly, ripe twice), into the month of everyone who’s young at heart. 😉
I think that something amazing can happen when you’re young at heart.
As I write this, outside is a very cold autumn day, for we’re on the other half of the world here, in South Africa. It is overcast, it rained and it is cold, yet my heart (who lived in the northern hemisphere for a long while) knows it is the 1st of June, and I feel cheery and happy inside. Look, even the sun tries to shine outside my window now.
A second, hidden etymology of the month of June
Yet if you glanced upon Ovid’s poem, you will know that there is another explanation for the origin of June, namely the goddess Iuno (Iunona or Junona) – Roman godess of childbirth and fertility, and the protective goddess of women.
I remember reading somewhere: “as any man has his muse, any woman has her Juno.”
But since Juno (as any Roman goddess could) married her sibling Jupiter (or Jove), the symbology of the month June might have been changed over time, perhaps even at the request of the Church.
Old Romanian beliefs connected with the month of June
Vlachs of old Wallachia (today part of Romania) believed that June threw at the thunders and lightnings in abundance, then the summer that just blossomed will be an overcast one.
If June is rainy, then on Christmas we will enjoy an abundant feast.
If the warm, Great Wind blows in summer from the north, then the wheat harvest will be early, and rich, while a rainy June will bring a wealth of corn.
But also, one should not swim on 24 June (around Summer Solstice, Midsummer Day) when it the Drăgaica celebration happens (a day set aside for the ritual involved in the protection of grain cultures, but fruits too), for it is danger of drowning.
Although, if you can cross a water three times on Drăgaica day ans till make it to shore, then you will be safe from drowning for the remainder of the year…
Romanians are renowned for their sharp (black) humor…
Drăgaica was the name used for this celebration in greater Wallachia, while Sânziene was used in Moldavia. Discover s much more on Romanian folklore on my blog here.
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