Origins of Month Names
- 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?
More on Months
- 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.?
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