Ever wondered why we call the months what we do? Wonder no longer! Here's our handy guide to the names of the months of the year. Like many aspects of culture, it's a bit of a mixed bag, but we can thank the Romans for most of it…
January is named after the Roman god Janus. As you can see in this print, he had two faces so he could see the future and the past. He was also the god of doors.
February is named after an ancient Roman festival of purification called Februa.
March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. This statue shows him in battle gear. The Roman calendar originally began in March, and the months of January and February were added later, after a calendar reform.
April takes its name from the Latin word aperire, meaning 'to open' (just like flowers do in spring). Here's a beautifully detailed watercolour drawing of a vase of flowers by French artist Antoine Jules Pelletier. The Romans called the month Aprilis.
May is named after the Greek goddess Maia. This print is an allegorical representation of the month of May. The artist has included the twins Castor and Pollux because the zodiac sign of Gemini starts in May.
June is named after the Roman goddess Juno – the god of marriage and childbirth, and the wife of Jupiter, king of the gods. Here she is seated in a chariot.
July and August
July and August were named after two major figures of the ancient Roman world – the statesman Julius Caesar (on the left, damaged) and Rome's first emperor, Augustus.
But what about the rest?September, October, November and December are named after Roman numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10 – they were originally the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months of the Roman year. Before July and August were renamed after Roman rulers, they were called Quintilis and Sextilis, meaning fifth and sixth months. How boring!
So now you know why we call the months what we do. Here's one last fact –the word 'month' itself is related to the moon. It originally measured how long it took for the moon to complete a cycle around the earth, so 'moon' and 'month' come from the same root.
What do the names of the months stand for? ›
Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and public holidays are regulated by Pope Gregory XIII's Gregorian Calendar, which is itself a modification of Julius Caesar's calendar introduced in 45 B.C. The names of our months are therefore derived from the Roman gods, leaders, festivals, and numbers.What are the 12 months of the year name? ›
The name of the 12 months in the English calendar is- January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August. September, October, November, and December.What month is named after a god? ›
January is named after the Roman god Janus.How did the 12 months get their names? ›
September, October, November, December
The names of the months are all derived from three sources: Greek and Roman deities, Roman rulers, and numbers.
MAY. Named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Also from the Latin word maiores, “elders,” who were celebrated during this month. Maia was considered a nurturer and an earth goddess, which may explain the connection with this springtime month.How did October get its name? ›
October, 10th month of the Gregorian calendar. Its name is derived from octo, Latin for “eight,” an indication of its position in the early Roman calendar.How did July get its name? ›
July, seventh month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Julius Caesar in 44 bce. Its original name was Quintilis, Latin for the “fifth month,” indicating its position in the early Roman calendar.Why is April called April? ›
April, fourth month of the Gregorian calendar. Its name probably derives from the Latin aperire (“to open”), a possible reference to plant buds opening at this time of year in Rome.How did January get its name? ›
January is “the month of Janus” the Roman god of beginnings and endings. Janus presided over doors and gates—appropriate for the beginning of the year. Indeed, Janus was usually depicted with faces looking backward and forward, as is characteristic of a new year.Why is June called June? ›
June, sixth month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of childbirth and fertility.
Why is March called March? ›
March, third month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war. Originally, March was the first month of the Roman calendar.What was the first month in the Bible? ›
Exodus 12:1-2 states that Nisan is the first month in the intercalation of the new year and the Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashanah 1:1 describes the First of Nisan as one of the four beginnings of the Jewish New Year: There are four new years.How did November get its name? ›
NOVEMBER: The name for this month comes from the Roman word for “ninth” – nonus – as it was the ninth month of the Roman year. DECEMBER: The name for this month comes from the Roman word for “tenth” – decimus – as it was the tenth month of the Roman year.Why is it called February? ›
Since other months, like January, are named after Roman gods, you'd be forgiven for thinking February was named after the Roman god Februus. But, the word February comes from the Roman festival of purification called Februa, during which people were ritually washed.How did September get its name? ›
September (from Latin septem, "seven") or mensis September was originally the seventh of ten months on the ancient Roman calendar that began with March (mensis Martius, "Mars' month"). It had 29 days. After the reforms that resulted in a 12-month year, September became the ninth month, but retained its name.Is July a girl's name? ›
The name July is both a boy's name and a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "month name".Why isn't October the 8th month? ›
Why Is October Not the Eighth Month? The meaning of October comes from the Latin word Octo meaning eight. The old Roman calendar started in March, so October was the eighth month. When the Roman senate changed the calendar in 153 BCE, the new year started in January, and October became the tenth month.What is June known for? ›
The month of June is known as the time schools let out for the summer, and June 20, 21, or 22 (depending on year) is the longest day of the year with the most daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere. June also plays host to the ever-important holidays of Father's Day and Juneteenth.Why is it called August? ›
August, eighth month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named for the first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, in 8 bce. Its original name was Sextilus, Latin for “sixth month,” indicating its position in the early Roman calendar.What is December named after? ›
December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC which began in March.
What is November stand for? ›
The word, “November”, is derived from the Latin word “novem” meaning “nine” because it was the ninth month of the Roman calendar and December, derived from the Latin word “decem” meaning “ten”, was originally the tenth month.What does January symbolize? ›
January was named for the Roman god Janus, known as the protector of gates and doorways who symbolize beginnings and endings. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other with the ability to see into the future.What does June mean? ›
The name June is of Latin origin and means "young." It is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Juno. June was used as a given name in the 19th century.What does July symbolize? ›
July was named in honor of Julius Caesar. Quintilis, which was his birth month, was renamed July when he died. Quintilis means “fifth month” in Latin, which represents where this month originally fell in the Roman calendar.What is special about April born? ›
April born are loyal and generous – the most desirable qualities in a friend. Because of their empathetic nature, April born make wonderful friends, but more than that, they value friendships. They give a lot of importance to their friends, sometimes even more than family.Who is the goddess of April? ›
The Romans celebrated April as the Sacred Month of Venus, Goddess of Love, Beauty, Fertility, and Sex… Her presence is eternal…you see her all over Italy, in sculptures, paintings.What does the month May symbolize? ›
“May” is likely named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Alternatively, the name might have come from the Latin maiores, “elders,” who were celebrated now.What is the name of the missing month? ›
Undecimber or Undecember is a name for a thirteenth month in a calendar that normally has twelve months.Can February be a name? ›
The name February is both a boy's name and a girl's name of English, Latin origin meaning "purification feast".Why is June born special? ›
People born in June are more likely to be Nobel Prize winners. It appears that June babies have a higher chance of becoming Nobel prize winners compared to others, like those born in January or February. As far as astrological signs, June babies that are Geminis are even more likely to receive a Nobel prize.
What is special about June babies? ›
Your June baby will be a twin or a crab… astrologically speaking. Babies born before June 22nd will be Geminis—a sign represented by the Twins and thought to be chatty, charismatic, witty…but indecisive. Little ones who make their debut June 22nd or later will be Cancers (aka the Crab).Is June a girl or boy name? ›
June is a gender-neutral given name. It is a common female name and a less common male name in English-speaking countries. It comes from the name of the month, which is derived from Juno, the name of a Roman goddess. It is also a short form of the names Juniper, Junia, Junius and Junior.What is April known for? ›
In the United States, April celebrates the outdoors with National Garden Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, and National Wildlife Week. It's also Stress Awareness Month, National Volunteer Month, National Poetry Month, National Humor Month, and more.Why is March so special? ›
“March” is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. However, we think of it as the beginning of spring, as March brings the vernal equinox, the Full Worm Moon and the return of Daylight Saving Time!Why is March so important? ›
According to our calendars, March is here again—a month where we celebrate Women's History Month, St. Patrick's Day, daylight savings time and the first day of spring, among other things.What month was Jesus actually born? ›
The common Christian traditional dating of the birthdate of Jesus was 25 December, a date first asserted officially by Pope Julius I in 350 AD, although this claim is dubious or otherwise unfounded.How long is a year in the Bible? ›
In ancient times, twelve thirty-day months were used making a total of 360 days for the year. Abraham, used the 360-day year, which was known in Ur. The Genesis account of the flood in the days of Noah illustrated this 360-day year by recording the 150-day interval till the waters abated from the earth.What is the oldest date in the Bible? ›
The oldest surviving Hebrew Bible manuscripts—including the Dead Sea Scrolls—date to about the 2nd century BCE (fragmentary) and some are stored at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. The oldest extant complete text survives in a Greek translation called the Septuagint, dating to the 4th century CE (Codex Sinaiticus).Why are the months named wrong? ›
In the Roman calendar there were only ten months - the 7th to 10th being September to December as their names suggest. It was only later when July and August (Julius and Augustus Caesar) were added that they became out of sequence.Why did they add January and February? ›
According to tradition, the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the calendar. This made the Roman year 355 days long. To make the calendar correspond approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus.
Why did they add July and August? ›
The months of January and February were added to the calendar and the original fifth and sixth months were renamed July and August in honour of Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus. These months were both given 31 days to reflect their importance, having been named after Roman leaders.Who is February month God? ›
They are either an Aquarius or a Pisces. People born between February 1 and February 18 were born under the star sign Aquarius, while those born later in the month are under Pisces.Why is February spelled with an R? ›
Have you ever wondered why February has that random, silent first r? Well, February, like the names of most months, has Latin roots. It descended from Februarius, a month in the ancient Roman calendar. The name actually comes from the festival of februum, a purification ritual celebrated during the month.Who Changed September 9th month? ›
The meaning of September comes from ancient Rome: Septem is Latin and means seven. The old Roman calendar started in March, making September the seventh month. When the Roman senate changed the calendar in 153 BCE, the new year started in January, and September became the ninth month.Why does February have 28 days? ›
Because Romans believed even numbers to be unlucky, each month had an odd number of days, which alternated between 29 and 31. But, in order to reach 355 days, one month had to be an even number. February was chosen to be the unlucky month with 28 days.What is the meaning of 12 months? ›
12-Month Period means a period of 12 consecutive months determined on a rolling basis with a new 12-month period beginning on the first day of each calendar month.What are the 12 months abbreviations? ›
March, April, May, June and July are never abbreviated in text, but the remaining months are when they are followed by a date (Jan. 27), and are correctly abbreviated Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. The semester begins in September. The semester begins in September 2012.What does the Bible say about the number 12? ›
The number 12 is mentioned often in the New Testament of the Bible, such as Jesus' selection of 12 apostles, he said. That choice was deliberate, with each apostle representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel, said Reed, a professor emeritus of pastoral theology and research.What is November named after? ›
NOVEMBER: The name for this month comes from the Roman word for “ninth” – nonus – as it was the ninth month of the Roman year. DECEMBER: The name for this month comes from the Roman word for “tenth” – decimus – as it was the tenth month of the Roman year.
How do you write 12 months? ›
What are the 12 months in order? Months name in English: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.What is the short name for April? ›
We usually use 3 letter abbreviations for months. The abbreviation for April is Apr. Good luck!What is October in short form? ›
oct./okt.How was July named? ›
July, seventh month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Julius Caesar in 44 bce. Its original name was Quintilis, Latin for the “fifth month,” indicating its position in the early Roman calendar.