How did the Months get their names?

How did the Months get their Names? Who named the Months? What are the Origins of their Names?
how did the months get their names

The world has always disagreed on some of the other points throughout history. Diversity is observed among countries to their respective cultural norms. Similarly, every country has its calendar which differs from place to place. Our country follows the Gregorian calendar, so how about we know the origin of how did the months get their names, and is there any significance in the meaning of the month May? In this article, we will answer all these questions and some more month-related pondering questions of yours.

1. How did the Months get their Names?

The Proto-Germanic word for moon is where the term month comes from. Each month was meant to represent a single lunar cycle, starting with the adoption of the Julian calendar. Julius Caesar decided to add January and February to the calendar because his astronomers had previously emphasized the requirement for twelve months plus the inclusion of a leap year in order to coordinate with the seasons.

The Roman Calendar, and especially the calendar set by Julius Caesar, is where the Gregorian calendar we use today had its start. Therefore, all of the English month names have Latin origins. As a result, the names of our months are drawn from Roman deities, rulers, festivals, and numerals. (See How many months is 90 days?)

2. Who named the Months?

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva

Prior to Pope Gregory XIII starting the early version of the modern Gregorian calendar, the early Roman calendars used to have just 10 months. Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December were the names of the ten months. It is believed that the first legendary king, Romulus, named the first month Martius after his father Mars, the God of War, and similarly, all the other months. When the Gregorian calendar was modified by Julius Caesar, he named all the modern months in a year. To know how did the months get their names in complete detail, go through the next segments. (See How Many Number of Days in a Month?)

3. What are the Origins of the Names of the Months of the Year?

It will sound funny when you learn how did the months get their names, just because we do not speak Latin.

  • You see, the names September, October, November, and December are derived from the Roman numerals 7, 8, 9, and 10. In the past, these months were the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth of the Roman calendar.  Also, check out what does 4 score and 7 years ago mean?
  • Before being dubbed after Roman emperors, July and August were referred to as Quintilis and Sextilis, or the fifth and sixth months.
  • Furthermore, the name February originated from Februa (plural for februum is purification), a Roman purification festival. In the northern hemisphere, these preparations were part of springtime preparations. This month marks the last month of the Lunar Year and the beginning of a new year. Also, check out How many Days are in February?

4. What is April named after?

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva

How did the months get their names? There are quite a number of theories behind it. Even the Romans themselves argued over the origins for several months. According to one myth, April was given by Romulus, as a tribute to the goddess Aphrodite, who was created from the froth of the sea (aphros in Ancient Greek). Some people think that the Latin word aperire, which means to open (exactly like flowers do in springtime), is where April gets its name. (See What Year is it actually?)

5. What is June named after?

The goddess Juno, Jupiter’s wife and queen of the Gods inspired the name June. Since June has historically been the most popular month for weddings, it is appropriate that Juno served as the patroness of marriage and childbirth. Also, check out How many Gods are there in the World?

6. Who named September?

As we have discussed earlier, September used to be the 7th month of the early Roman calendar. Sept is the Latin prefix used for anything with the number seven. Some believe September is named after the Roman emperor Sebtemberus Severus, but others believe it is not. The name might have first come up from Romulus, the one who started the early Roman calendar. (See What are the 3 Types of History?)

7. Why is January named January?

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva

January was the final month to be included in the calendar, which at first had 10 months and started in March. The month of January is named for the Roman deity of beginnings and ends, Janus. Doors and gates were under Janus’ rule, which seems suitable for the start of a new year. He frequently has two faces: one that is gazing forward and the other that is looking backward. (See What Century are We Living in Now?)

8. Why is December called December?

Its name derives from the Latin word Decem, which means ten since it was originally the tenth month of Romulus’ calendar that is used to begin March, around 750 BC. Winter days after December was not counted as months. The new year began in January after the Roman Senate modified the calendar in 153 BCE, making December the twelfth month. (See How Long is a Decade and a Century?)

9. Why is May called May?

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May is the height of spring for Romans, and this month is named after Maia, the goddess of fertility. She was an earth goddess and a goddess of development, which is why the meaning of the month May is associated with this springtime. She had a son named Hermes with the God Zeus. So, this gave rise to the name May which meant spring. (See Who is the Strongest God of Destruction?)

The Gregorian Calendar, which was created by Pope Gregory XIII and is itself a variation of Julius Caesar’s calendar, first established in 45 B.C., governs all national and international public holidays. I hope this article answered your questions about the meaning of the month May and how did the months get their names.

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