Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Origin of the Months of the Year

Origin of the Months of the Year

The name of every month in the Gregorian Calendar does not only have a meaning attached to it but has a history behind it as well. The facts related to their meaning, background, sequence etc., make it an interesting reading and valuable set of knowledge.
                                      
JANUARY:

The month January is named after Janus, the Roman god of all beginnings. That is the reason why it was moved towards the beginning of the calender by Numa Pompilius - the legendary Roman king around 153 BC, , though the month was added to the Roman calendar in 713 BC.
 
FEBRUARY:
The name of this month is derived from Februa, the roman festival of purification. The Romans dedicated this month to the god Neptune. It was added to the Roman year with January but was moved to its present place in the Gregorian calendar around 450 BC.
 
MARCH:
March was named after the Roman god of war, the protector and supporter. It used to be the first month of the year in Roman times. It remained so until the month of January was moved at the start of the Roman calendar in 153 BC.
 
APRIL:
April is derived from the Latin word 'Aperire' which means 'to open'. It symbolizes the opening of heaven's door and also refers to opening up of flower buds, thus implying spring time.
 
MAY:
This month may have been named after the Greek goddess Maia, identified with Roman era goddess of fertility. Thus 'Maius' stands for the month dedicated to the goddess Maia.
 
JUNE:
This month is named after Juno - the Roman goddess of moon and marriage who was the wife of Jupiter in the Greek mythology.
 
JULY:
July is named after the Roman general & politician Julius Caeser who was born in this month. The change took place in the last year of his life. Earlier it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the year.
 
AUGUST:
August is named after the Roman emperor Augustus, the adopted son of Caesar and nephew of Julius Caesar. Earlier the month was called 'Sextilis' being the sixth month of the Roman calendar. And later was moved to its present place.
 
SEPTEMBER:
September is derived from the Latin word 'Septem' which means number seven, as this was the seventh month of the old Roman calendar. It was consecrated to 'Vulcan' the god of fire.
 
OCTOBER:
October is derived from the Latin word 'Octo' which means eight, as this was eighth month of the old Roman calendar. And later was moved to its present place.
 
NOVEMBER:
November is derived from the Latin word 'Novem' which means number nine, as this was the ninth month of the  old Roman calendar. And later was moved to its present place.
 
DECEMBER:
December is derived from the Latin word 'Decem' which means number ten, as this was the tenth month of the old Roman calendar. Julius Caesar changed the of days in it from 29 to 30 and later Augustus fixed it @ 31.

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