Origin of the Names of the Months

  1. January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions.
  2. February is named after the Roman god Februus, the god of purification and the underworld.
  3. March is named after the Roman god Mars, the god of war and also the agricultural guardian.
  4. April seems to be derived from aperire, which means “to open”, probably since the buds opened in this month. However, it may also have come from the name of the goddess Aphrodite (Aphrusor Apru as in Etruscan), the Greek equivalent of Venus.
  5. May is named after Maiesta, the Roman goddess of honor and reverence.
  6. June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, the protector of the state, watcher of women, and the queen of the gods.
  7. July is named after Julius Caesar as he was born in this month. Earlier, it was called Quintilis, meaning “fifth”, since it was the fifth month in an earlier 10-month calendar that began with March as the first month.
  8. August is named after the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar. Earlier, it was called Sextilis, meaning “sixth”.
  9. September comes from septem, “seven”.
  10. October comes from octo, “eight”
  11. November comes from novem, “nine”.
  12. December comes from decem, “ten”.

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