Czech researcher Jakub Marian has made a map that shows how in European countries the eighth month of the year is called. It turned out that Belarus is the only country on the continent that uses the word zhniven.
Zhniven is derived from the Belarusian word zhnivo meaning “harvest”. So zhniven is the abundance time when we start to collect vegetables and late fruits like apples and pears.
According to the map, the most common word for the month is August. In ancient Rome Gaius Octavius, adopted son of Guy Julius Caesar, got the title Augustus (August literally means “Majestic”). So the eighth month of the year was called in honor of him.
Serp (“sickle”) is the second most common version. It was derived from the word associated with harvesting (used in Poland, Ukraine and Czech Republic).
The third place goes to the Irish Lunasa and Gaelic Lùnasdal. They got their names in honor of the god Luga from the Irish mythology.
The map also shows the Lithuanian rugpjūtis (“month when the rye is cut”), Finnish elokuu (“harvest month”) and Croatian kolovoz that emerged from the confluence of kolo (“wheel”) and voziti (“drive a vehicle”).
You may also see several other names of August belonging to the languages of northern peoples.