The first chapter of the Kalevala always gives a specific number of years (sometimes multiple numbers) when describing time skips. The three examples I saw are quoted below. Is there any known significance to these numbers or time periods?
- After the Air-daughter becomes pregnant:
She bore a hard womb
a difficult bellyful
seven hundred years
nine ages of man;
but no birth was born
no creature was created.
- When the Air-daughter starts her creation after the incident with the scaup's eggs:
Now in the ninth year
in the tenth summer
she raised her head from the sea
she lifts up her poll:
she began her creation
forming her creatures
on the clear high seas
upon the open expanse.
- When Väinämöinen is born:
Then he tripped head first seaward
hands first he tumbled waveward
the man stays in the sea's care
the fellow in the billows.
He lolled there five years
both five years and six
seven years and eight.
The first one ("seven hundred years") in particular feels like it might mean something, but I don't see translation notes on any of them, and they clearly have nothing to do with how long a real-world pregnancy would last.
P.S. If it matters, I'm reading the Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Keith Bosley.