So here we are in March – Hrethmonath – dedicated to the goddess Hretha. Sadly, no one seems to know anything about this deity – in fact as far as I can make out the only written reference to Hretha/Hrethmonath in history comes from our old friend the Venerable Bede again in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, written early in the 8th century.
Other sources tell us that there is an alternative name for the month – Hlyda – meaning noisy or loud. This makes perfect sense, given March’s reputation for windy weather in the UK. It’s also linguistically interesting since Hlyda, like so many Old English words which look alien at first sight, is actually phonetically similar to ‘loud’ (I’m guessing it was pronounced H-lud-uh) and so I suppose must be its root word.