The Origin of Month Names in the Gregorian Calendar
The Gregorian calendar or Anno Domini (AD) in English is a calendar term or year used in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The gregorian calendar is calculated from the day Jesus was born of Nazareth while before that it was called BC.
In the Gregorian calendar there are 12 months, starting from January and ending with December. So, have you ever wondered, where did these names come from? Apparently, it comes from Roman history and mythology. To find out more, see the explanation below:
1. January (Janus)
January comes from one of the gods of Roman mythology named Janus. The god Janus is depicted as a god who has two opposite faces, so he can see backwards and forwards simultaneously.
According to the beliefs of the Romans, Janus was the god of the beginning and the god of the end who could see the future and also see the past.
2. February (February/February)
The word February or February is taken from a god named Februus who according to the Romans was the God of Purification. As for the Etruscans, Februus is the god of wealth, death and purity.
Every February, on the 15th to be exact, the Romans always perform a ritual to ask for forgiveness of sins or what can be known as a purification ritual (Februa).
3. March (Mars)
The name comes from the Roman god of war, Mars. If it is analogous to Greek mythology, Mars' position is equivalent to Ares. Mars is the son of Juno and Jupiter, the highest gods in Roman mythology.
The reason for its naming is because in this month the drum wars will usually start again after stopping during winter.
4. April (aperire/Aphrodite)
The origin of the name of the fourth month in the Gregorian calendar comes from the Latin, aperire which means open. Open in this context refers to flowers that are in bloom or harvest season.
According to another version of the source also states that the word April comes from the name of the goddess Venus which in Greek is called Aphrodite.
5. May (Maia)
The word Maia comes from one of the goddesses, namely Dewi Maia or the Romans better know her by the name Maia Maiestas. Every 1st of May, the Romans would worship the Earth Goddess, Maia.
6. June (Juno)
The word June or June in the Christian calendar comes from Dewi Juno, the wife of the god Jupiter. Juno is the highest goddess in Roman mythology.
So, it is not surprising that he is dubbed the head of the Roman Goddess. In an analogy, Juno is the same as Hera, the wife of Zeus in Greek mythology.
7. July (Julius)
The name July or July is a tribute to the Roman dictator Julius Caesar who developed the Julian Calendar, the predecessor of the Gregorian Calendar we use today. In the process of developing it he was assisted by Sosigenes, a Greek astronomer from Ptolemaic Egypt. Before it was called July, this month was called Quintilis.
8. August (August)
Before the name August or in English called August, the name of this month is Sextilis. Then the name was changed to Augustus, this is due to honor the first Roman emperor who was Augustus Caesar.
9. September (septem)
Derived from the word "septem", which if translated into Latin has the meaning of seven. In the Roman calendar, September is not the 9th month but the 7th month.
10. October (octo)
As it turns out, the origin of the month of October comes from the word octo which has the eighth meaning in Greek.
11. November (November)
In the Gregorian calendar, November is the 11th month. This word comes from the Latin "novem" which means nine, this is because long ago the year started from March.
12. December (decem)
The last month in the Gregorian calendar comes from the word "decem" which when translated into Latin means "ten". The famous figures born in this month are Walt Disney, Isaac Newton and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Addition of 2 Months to the Roman Calendar
In the past, the Romans celebrated the new year on March 1, because in the Roman calendar at that time there were only 10 months (March-December) made by Romulus, the first king of Rome.
It was only in the era of Numa that Pontilius changed the number of months in the calendar by adding the months of January and February. The reason is because the number of days is too few and does not match the existing season.
This was also reaffirmed in the time of Julius Caesar and made a more perfect calendar. At this time the celebration of the new year was shifted, from March 1 to January 1.