Ærra Gēola, m.n: “First Yule” or “Before Yule”, i.e. December. (“ar-ruh yeh-o-luh”)
Image: Liturgical calendar for December from Calvin College’s medieval manuscript.
Further information from Kazutomo Karasawa’s The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge, 2015)
Þænne folcum bringð
morgen to mannum monað to tune,
Decembris drihta bearnum,
—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 218b-21a
Then the month of December, Ærra Iula, brings the next morning to town, to nations, to people, to children of men. (trans. by K. Karasawa)
Karasawa writes, ‘December and January shared the name Iula (Giuli, Geola) and Ærra ‘former’ or Æfterra ‘latter’ was added to distinguish the two’ (p. 126).