Naming months of the year

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Naming months of the year

The names of the months in English (as well as in many other languages) are originated by Latin words. Many of the months are dedicated to gods, but some have other meanings. 

January

Januarius – this month was dedicated to Janus, the Roman god of doors.

Janus had two faces, one looking back at the old year and the other looking forward to the new year.

February

Februarius – Februa was the Roman purification festival, which took place at this time of year.

March

Martius – from Mars, the Roman god of war.

April

Aprilis – from aperire, Latin for open, because plants begin to open during this month.

May

Maius – probably comes from Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and increase.

June

Junius – either from a Roman family name Junius, which means young, or perhaps after the goddess Juno.

July

Julius- after Julius Caesar. This month was named in Caesar’s honour by Mark Antony in 44 BC. Previously this month was called Quintilis from the word quintus, five, as it was the fifth month in the Roman calendar.

August

Augustus – named in 8 BC in honour of Emperor Augustus.

September

September – from septem, seven, because it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar.

October

October – from octo, eight (as in octopus, which has eight legs), the eighth month in the Roman calendar.

November

November – trom novem, nine, the ninth month in the Roman calendar.

December

December – from decem, ten, the tenth month in the Roman calendar.

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