大小月 (The Months)

I am amazed each week how much Mandarin the kids & I are learning. Our new teacher is awesome!  In the past, I was never quite sure how much Sweetie knew.  Come to discover, that which she did know … she pronounced poorly.  We’ve thereby been reviewing  A LOT.   Our teacher is great at keeping it fun … incorporating songs and cultural lessons each month.  This month’s song is about the months, similar to one that I first learned in Spanish:

30 days hath September
April, June, and November
Excepting February
When comes the time
Every Leap Year 
gives it twenty-nine.
一月大,二月小
三月大,四月小
五月大,六月小
七月大,八月大
九月小,十月大
十一月小,十二月大。

Literal translation of the characters shown above:
First month big, second month small
third month big, fourth month small
fifth month big, sixth month small
seventh month big, eight month big
ninth month small, tenth month big
eleventh month small, twelfth month big.

In addition to the song above, he shared with us a little trick to tell which months have 31 days (大)and which have less(小).  Extend your left hand and beginning at the knuckle of the index finger, move to the left as you say the names of the month.

The 1st month (January) is on the knuckle of the index finger. The 2nd month (February) is in the groove  just to the left (between knuckles). The 3rd month (March) is on the knuckle and so forth to the 7th month (July) which is on the knuckle of the pinky finger.  From there, you move back to the index finger for the 8th month (August) and so forth once again.  Each time you point to a knuckle, it is a large month (大) 31 days.  Each time you point to the space or valley between, it is a small month (小) 30 days, or in the case of February 29 or 28 if a leap year.