Knowledge Articles | How did the Months Get Their Name

Months Names

Whenever we look at the calendar, the first thing that strikes us is the month. We might be familiar with the names of the months in a calendar, but do we know the origins behind them? Here are the names of the months and the interesting stories behind their origin.

JANUARY: January was named after the Roman god called JANUS. JANUS is the god of all beginnings. He commands all means of change and entries. Janus is depicted as having two faces. One of them looks forward into the future and the other one looks backward into the past.

FEBRUARY: The name February has derived after the Latin word 'februum'. The Romans used to celebrate a purification ritual called 'februa' during this time. So this has turned into the name of the month as February.

MARCH: March once used to be the beginning month of a Roman calendar. It is named after the god MARS who is regarded as the guardian for agriculture and war. As the winter season closes by March, Romans used to start farming and military campaign from the month. And so the month was rightly assumed after the god of farming and warfare- MARS!

APRIL: The name April was thought to have derived from the Latin word 'aperio' which means to open. Because it was the beginning of spring season which causes the buds and flowers to open. Some others think that the name was derived from the Greek goddess of love and beauty named as 'Aphrodite'.

MAY: The word May derives after the Greek goddess Maia. Maia is the goddess of growth. As this month is suitable for the growth of plants, it might have been attributed to the goddess of growth.

JUNE: 'June' was derived from the Roman goddess 'JUNO' who is the deity for marriage and well-being of women. Romans used to consider the month of June as auspicious for marriages. So they might have attributed the month to JUNO.

JULY: The famous Roman emperor Julius Caesar has reformed the existing Roman calendar, and brought into effect a new calendar called the Julian calendar. While doing so, he has added his own name to one of the months... and that's the month of July!

AUGUST: This month was named after 'Augustus Caesar' who is the successor of Julius Caesar. When the Roman senate has decided to name a month in the year in his honor- Augustus has chosen the month after July. He has chosen this month because; he has achieved a lot of victories during this particular month.

SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER: Originally, the Roman calendar consisted of only ten months. Their calendar used to get started from the month of March. But an emperor named 'Numa Pompilius' has added two more months (January and February) to the calendar about 713 BC. According the old calendar consisting of 10 months...September would be the seventh month in a year. It derives from the Latin word 'Septem' which denotes the number 7. Likewise October (OCTO), November (NOVEM)and December (DECEM) denotes their respective numbers in Latin.