Origins of ordinary things: Names of months

Months are important in measuring the progress of each year. At the beginning of January, the year is brand new and people make plans of the things they want to do. At the end of December, everyone celebrates their achievements and they are glad to still be alive. But how did the names of the months come about?

Months are important in measuring the progress of each year. At the beginning of January, the year is brand new and people make plans of the things they want to do. At the end of December, everyone celebrates their achievements and they are glad to still be alive. But how did the names of the months come about?

According to Encyclopedia Mythica, a website on myths, January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings. Janus is depicted as having two faces because of his apparent ability to see the past and the future.

February has a Latin origin. It is named after Februa, the feast of purification which was held on every 15th of that month. This is according to ThoughtCo, a knowledge website. Februus, the Roman god of the underworld and purification is associated with this month.

Initially, January wasn’t the first month of the year. According to Quora, a knowledge sharing platform, March was the first month of the ancient Roman calendar. In the month of March, all wars ceased to allow for the celebration of the new year. March is named after Mars, the god of war.

The month of April is named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. This is according to Time and Date, an online platform about time.

The fifth month of the year, May, derives its name from Maia, the Greek goddess of growth/spring. Maia was one of the companions of Artemis, the goddess of hunting, the wilderness, wild animals, childbirth, and the protector of the girl child. This is according to the web-based Dictionary.

According to Calendar Origins, a website dedicated to history of months, June obtained its name from Junius, the Queen of the gods.

July is named after the month in which Julius Caesar was born. Julius Caesar was born July 13th 100BC and he played an important role in the rise of the Roman Empire. He also made the Julian calendar which greatly influenced the calendar that is in use today. This is according to Encyclopedia Mythica.

Julius Caesar’s great nephew Augustus Caesar was the inspiration for the name of eighth month of the year. According to Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, Augustus Caesar was the first Roman Emperor.

September on the other hand, derives its name from the Latin word “Septem” which means “Seven”. This is because, according to Quora, September was the seventh month of the year according to the ancient Roman calendar.

October, November and December also derive their names from the ancient Roman calendar. They were the eighth, ninth and tenth months respectively. According to Oxford Dictionaries, Octo is the Latin word for ‘eight’, Novem means ‘nine’ while Decem means ‘ten.’

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