- Months are based roughly on the moon. A lunar month is 291/2 days, or the time from one new moon to the next.
- 12 lunar months leave 11 days remaining in the solar year.
- To help you remember the days of the month, remember “30 days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, except February, which has 28.”
The Names of the Months
- January: named after Janus, protector of the gateway to heaven
- February: named after Februalia, a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins
- March: named after Mars, the god of war, presumably signifying that the campaigns interrupted by the winter could be resumed
- April: from aperire, Latin for “to open” (buds)
- May: named after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants
- June: from junius, Latin for the goddess Juno
- July: named after Julius Caesar
- August: named after Augustus, the first Roman Emperor
- September: from septem, Latin for “seven”
- October: from octo, Latin for “eight”
- November: from novem, Latin for “nine”
- December: from decem, Latin for “ten”
NOTE: The earliest Latin calendar was a 10-month one; thus September was the seventh month, October, the eighth, etc. July was originally called Quintilis, as the fifth month; August was originally called Sextilis, as the sixth month. For more on the calendar and the names of months, see A History of the New Year
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