Where The Names Of The Months Originated
The names of the months in the Roman calendar are the origins to the names we use today. Find out the etymology of our calendar.
All names of the 12 months of the year are of Latin origin.Some came from the ancient Roman calendar which used March 1 as the first day of the year. However, a well-known general who in time became emperor of Rome named Julius Caesar set January 1 as the first day instead of March 1.
January,the first month of the year,consisted of 31 days.I ts name was derived from Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors. Hence, of all beginnings. Every January 1st the Romans offered sacrifices to Janus asking blessings for the New Year.
February, the second month, came from a Roman celebration called Februs.It was a festival of purification or cleaning.It once had 30 days until Julius Caesar took one day off to add to the month which was later named after him. As stated by tradition, the emperor Augustus took one day off it and transferred it to August. February is the only month with 28 days. A 29th day is added to it during leap years.
March was the first month of the Roman year and formerly called Martius. Until Julius Caesar revised the calendar and made January 1 as the beginning of the year. March became the third month. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war.
Aprilus was the name the Romans gave for April. It was derived from a perire which means "to open". It is the season when the buds begin to open and the Anglo-Saxons called it Eostre (Easter) month.
Most people said May was named afer Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth. Yet some authorities said it is short for majores, Latin for older men.
June once had 29 days until Julius Caesar added a 30th one. Some believed it was named after Juno, goddess of marriage. Others theorized it originated from juniores, Latin for young men.
July was called Quintilis or fifth month by the Romans. Julius Caesar was born in this month. After his death, the month was named Julius, to honor him.
August was named after emperor Augustus. It once had 30 days when Augustus lengthened it to 31 days.
September comes from the Latin septem which means seven. It has 30 days.
October originated from the Latin octo,which means eight.
Novem is the Latin word for nine. This explains November being the ninth month. It once consisted of 29 days until Julius Caesar gave it 31 days.
December has 31 days. Since it was the tenth month in the Roman calendar, it came from the Latin decem which means ten.