七月(しちがつ)and 文月(ふみつき、ふづき)

文月(ふみつき、ふづき)is the old name for July in Japanese.

The kanji 文 can be pronounced in a few different ways and each pronunciation has a different meaning. If it’s pronounced as ぶん, that means a sentence. If ふみ, a letter. あや means fine patterns of a woven cloth and/or intricacies of a situation.

One of the theories why July is called  文月(ふみつき、ふづき)is that people wrote poems and/or wishes on a strip of paper for the Tanabata Festival, but as Tanabata Festival is not originally from Japan, some people say the word  文月(ふみつき、ふづき) predates the arrival of the Tanabata Festival during the Nara period.


By the way, I usually teach 七月 to be read しちがつ but as しちがつ sounds similar to いちがつ(一月, January), many people started to call it なながつ. The language is changing!

Tanabata Wish

Tanabata Wish

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