The 12 Months in German: Audio Pronunciation + Cultural Fun Facts

Imagine planning a trip to Germany, or even a cultural exchange program. You’re scheduling meetings, booking event tickets, and coordinating with locals… In scenarios like these, familiarity with the months in German becomes absolutely necessary. Not only does it help communication, but it also makes your travel experience better. Spring German (a project I co-founded) has a great video on the months and seasons in German, check it out!

Knowing the months and seasons in German thus transforms from a simple linguistic exercise to a bridge connecting you with the heart of German culture.

Let’s go on this journey together to make learning the German months as engaging as it is practical.

All the 12 months of the year in German + Pronunciation

Here’s the table containing all 12 months in German with a little bit of audio help – click on any month to jump to their specific section!

By the way, before you know all the months in German, you also have to know how to say the word ‘month’ in German: der Monat (sg.) = die Monate (pl.)

GermanEnglish
Januar
January
Februar
February
März
March
April
April
Mai
May
Juni
June
Juli
July
August
August
September
September
Oktober
October
November
November
Dezember
December

1. Januar (January)

Januar, pronounced [YAH-noo-ahr], marks the beginning of a new year. The name is derived from the Roman god Janus, known as the god of gates and doors, symbolizing new beginnings. In Germany, January is a time of fresh starts and resolutions.

Im Januar beginnt das neue Jahr” (In January, the new year begins).

Cultural Fun Fact
Dreikönigstag: On January 6th, Germany celebrates Epiphany, known as “Dreikönigstag” or the Day of the Three Kings. Children dress up as the three wise men and go door to door, singing and collecting money for charitable causes.

2. Februar (February)

Februar [FAY-broo-ahr] is the month of Fasching or Karneval, Germany’s traditional pre-Lenten festivities. It’s named after the Latin term “februum,” meaning purification.

Im Februar feiern wir Karneval” (In February, we celebrate Carnival).

Cultural Fun Fact
Karneval/Fasching: Particularly in the Rhineland and southern Germany, February is known for its vibrant Karneval or Fasching celebrations. Cities such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Mainz feature parades, costumes, and balls, also drawing visitors from all around the world.

3. März (March)

März, pronounced [Merts], usually marks the beginning of spring in Germany. The name originates from Mars, the Roman god of war, reflecting a time of new growth and renewal.

Im März blühen die Blumen” (In March, the flowers bloom) captures the essence of this month.

Cultural Fun Fact
Starkbierzeit: In Munich, the strong beer season, or “Starkbierzeit,” starts in March. It features the tapping of specially brewed strong beers, with festivities that rival Oktoberfest in their joviality, though they are more local in nature.

4. April (April)

April [AH-pril] is known for its unpredictable weather! The name April is believed to come from the Latin word “aperire,” meaning to open, in reference to the opening or blossoming of flowers and trees.

April, April, der macht was er will” (April does what it wants).

Cultural Fun Fact
Walpurgisnacht: On the night of April 30th to May 1st, Germans celebrate Walpurgisnacht, marking the end of winter and the welcoming of spring. Traditions include bonfires, dancing, and in some regions, dressing up as witches.

5. Mai (May)

Mai [MY], the month of blossoms and growth, has its name derived from Maia, the goddess of spring and growth.

Im Mai ist Muttertag” (In May, it’s Mother’s Day).

Cultural Fun Fact
Maibaum: Erecting a “Maibaum” (maypole) is a cherished tradition in many German towns. The pole is decorated with ribbons, flowers, and symbols of local crafts and industries, around which communities gather to celebrate with music and dancing.

months in germany - a field in may

6. Juni (June)

Juni [YOO-nee], named after Juno, the Roman goddess and protector of women and marriage, welcomes the full swing of summer.

Im Juni beginnt der Sommer” (In June, summer begins) signals the start of the warmer season.

Cultural Fun Fact
Johannifeuer: On June 24th, the feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated with “Johannifeuer” or midsummer bonfires. It’s a time when people gather around large fires, leap over flames, and enjoy the longest day of the year.

7. Juli (July)

Juli [YOO-lee], carrying the name in honor of Julius Caesar, embraces the heart of summer.

Im Juli fahren viele Menschen in den Urlaub” (In July, many people go on vacation).

Cultural Fun Fact
Christopher Street Day: Major cities across Germany, including Berlin, Cologne, and Munich, celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with Christopher Street Day parades in July, featuring colorful floats, music, and a festival atmosphere.

8. August (August)

August [OW-goo s t] is named after Emperor Augustus and represents the continuation of the summer leisure period.

Im August sind die Tage noch lang” (In August, the days are still long) expresses the lingering summer warmth.

Cultural Fun Fact
Weinfeste: August marks the beginning of the wine festival season in Germany’s wine regions like the Rhine Valley and Mosel. These festivals celebrate the local wine culture with tastings, parades, and queen coronations.

9. September (September)

September [zep-TEM-ber], originally the seventh month in the Roman calendar, signifies the start of autumn.

Im September beginnt der Herbst” (In September, autumn begins) indicates the seasonal transition.

Cultural Fun Fact
Oktoberfest: Kicking off in late September, Munich’s Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest, including a massive beer festival and a travelling funfair. It attracts millions of visitors from around the globe.

10. Oktober (October)

Oktober [ok-TOH-ber], once the eighth month, is now known for its colorful foliage and harvest celebrations.

This might be a bit misleading as the festival starts in September, yet it continues into early Oktober 😉

Im Oktober feiern wir das Oktoberfest” (In October, we celebrate Oktoberfest)

Cultural Fun Fact
Tag der Deutschen Einheit: October 3rd is Germany’s national day, commemorating the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. It’s observed with ceremonies, concerts, and public speeches across the country.

11. November (November)

November [noh-VEM-ber], derived from “novem,” meaning nine in Latin, is a quieter month, marked by remembrance and the beginning of the cozy season.

Im November gedenken wir der Toten” (In November, we remember the dead) – This sentence refers to All Saints’ Day and Volkstrauertag, both are days of remembrance and respect.

Cultural Fun Fact
Martinstag: November 11th is St. Martin’s Day, celebrated with lantern processions led by children, who sing songs about St. Martin. The festivities often culminate in the sharing of a “Martinsgans” (St. Martin’s goose) meal.

12. Dezember (December)

Dezember [DAY-tsem-ber], from “decem” meaning ten, is filled with festive anticipation.

Im Dezember feiern wir Weihnachten” (In December, we celebrate Christmas).

Cultural Fun Fact
Weihnachtsmärkte: December is renowned for its magical Christmas markets (“Weihnachtsmärkte”) that pop up in town squares throughout Germany. These markets are filled with lights, decorations, traditional foods, and handcrafted goods, embodying the spirit of Christmas.

a traditional christmas market in december month in germany

Abbreviation of months in German

Understanding abbreviations comes in handy for writing letters, emails, or engaging in casual chats. Here’s how months in German are commonly abbreviated:

MonthAbbreviation
JanuarJan.
FebruarFeb.
MärzMärz
AprilApr.
MaiMai
JuniJuni
JuliJuli
AugustAug.
SeptemberSept.
OktoberOkt.
NovemberNov.
DezemberDez.

The German calendar: months and seasons in German

In German-speaking countries, the calendar plays a crucial role in the organization of work, school, and holidays.

Typically, the workweek runs from Monday to Friday, with schools aligning their schedules closely.

Major holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, see widespread closures: this allows families to gather and celebrate. Schools have fixed holiday periods, often including a two-week break around Christmas and Easter and a longer summer holiday but it somewhat differs from region to region.

Planning ahead is common, with many Germans booking vacations and cultural outings well in advance, particularly around public holidays and during school breaks.

Practice the months in German – pay attention!

Fill in the blanks with the correct month or expression related to the German month!

Do you want to practice more German? You’re in luck! We have tons of exercises related to different topics. You only have to click this button below and request access to our Full Practice Worksheet Library.

Learn German months with Conversation Based Chunking

In this blog post, we’ve explored not just how to say the months in German, but also dipped our toes a little bit into the cultural facts that each month carries. If you integrate these names and phrases into your daily conversations – from scheduling outings to discussing historical and cultural events – you enhance not just vocabulary but your understanding of the language’s rhythm and context.

Conversation Based Chunking can speed up this process. Focus on chunks in real-life conversations and you’ll learn not just the months in German but also the language, in no time!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *