Calendar in Esperanto
Days of the Week
Background of the Esperanto Language
Esperanto Flag, La verda stelo (green star)
The green field symbolizes hope, the white symbolizes peace and neutrality, and the five-pointed star represents the five continents (as traditionally counted).
Both a star and the green color were associated with Esperanto quite early, following a call for it from B. G. Jonson, a Swedish Esperantist. Louis de Beaufront proposed and initiated the usage of publishing books written in Esperanto with their covers green and with a star on it.
The idea caught on and soon the green color and the star symbol were used on the cover of many Esperanto books and periodicals; however, nothing was fixed for the exact design of the star or for its color. Various designs are used and sometimes the star was golden, on a green background.
A brief history of Esperanto
Proto-Esperanto (pra-Esperanto) is the modern term for any of the stages in the evolution of L. L. Zamenhof's language project, prior to the publication of his Unua Libro in 1887.
Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof (December 15, 1859–April 14, 1917) was an ophthalmologist, philologist, and the initiator of Esperanto, the most widely known spoken constructed language. His native languages were Russian and Yiddish, but he also spoke Polish and German fluently. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English, and he also had an interest in Italian, Spanish, and Lithuanian.
Zamenhof was born to Jewish parents in the town of Białystok at that time part of the Russian Empire, but which is now in Poland. The town's population was made up of three major ethnic groups: Poles, Belorussians (or Belarussians), and a large group of Yiddish-speaking Jews. Zamenhof was frustrated by the many quarrels between these groups; so, he thought that the main reason for the hate and prejudice lay in a mutual misunderstanding, caused by the lack of one common language that would play the role of a neutral communication tool between people of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.
As a child, Zamenhof thought about developing an international auxiliary language for communication between the different nationalities. He originally wanted to revive some form of simplified Latin or Greek, but as he grew older he came to believe that it would be better to create a new language for his purpose. When he studied English (along with German, French, Latin and Greek), he decided that the international language must have a relatively simple grammar with a wide use of suffixes to make new forms of the words.
During his teenage years, he worked on a language project until he thought it was ready for public demonstration. On December 17, 1878 (about one year before the first publication of Volapük), Zamenhof celebrated his birthday and the birth of the language with some friends, who liked the project. Zamenhof himself called his language Lingwe Uniwersala ("world language").
While at university, Zamenhof handed his work over to his father, Mordechai, for safe-keeping until he had completed his medical studies. His father, not understanding the ideas of his son and perhaps anticipating problems from the Tsarist police, burned the work. Zamenhof didn't find out about this until 1881, at which time he created a new version of his language.
His book was published under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto, or "Doctor Hopeful", from which the name of Zamenhof's new language was derived. For Zamenhof this language wasn't merely a communication tool, but a means of spreading his ideas on the peaceful coexistence of different people and cultures. Among the many works he translated into Esperanto is the Old Testament.