How Did the 12 Months Get Their Names?

By Sharon S. on May 9, 2012 10:33 AM | | Comments (0)

promotional-calendar-questionHave you ever sat around and wondered how each of the twelve months of the year got their names? (No?) Well, we are, especially since we're in the middle our promotional calendars and planners ordering season right now. (Don't judge, we need a break now and then!) Now that we've piqued your interest, take a break from your promotional product shopping and check out the answers:

January is the month of Janus, the double-faced deity, who was famous for the ability to see what was in front and behind - an appropriate name for the first month of the year.

February is either from the god "Februus" or from februa, signifying the festivals of purification celebrated in Rome during this time period.

March is named for the god of war, Mars, which makes sense, considering this month's temptuous nature.

April most likely gets its name from "aperire", which means "to open," possibly in reference to the budding plants and flowers that appear during this month. However, some sources attribute the name to Aphrodite, the god of love.

May, the month of rain showers and flowers, comes from Maiesta, the Roman goddess of honor and growth.

June is from Juno, the wife of Jupiter because she liked to lay out by the pool and sip fruity drinks during the first month of summer.*

July and August owe their names to Roman emperors full of pride - Caius Julius Caesar and Augustus. Before these rulers bequeathed their monikers upon these months, they were called Quintilis ("five") and Sextilis ("six"), respectfully.

The final four months got their names from numbers - September was Septem ("seven"), October was "Octo" (eight), November was Novem ("nine") and December was Decem ("ten"). You probably noticed that the names of the months don't coordinate to their current numerical placement on our Gregorian calendar. It's because our year used to end in March, not December. When the year-end was changed, the names stayed the same.

Now you can say you've learned something new today. (You are welcome.) As you get back to perusing our site (and just like us, probably now have calendars on the brain), make sure to check out our desk calendars, wall calendars or pocket planners for some creative ideas for your organization. If you have any questions, simply call your account executive or contact us!

*May not be factual

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