Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Pagan Months



Of the names of the twelve months in English, four are named after their numerical order, two are named after Roman politicians, one after a festival of purification, and five after specific gods and goddesses.

January is the month of Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings.

February, originally considered the last month by the Romans, takes its name from a purification ritual called Februa held on February 15.

March is the month of Mars, the god of war. April takes it's name from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. May is named after Maia (meaning "the great one"), an Italic goddess of spring, the daughter of Faunus and wife of Vulcan. June is Juno's month, from Juno the goddess of marriage and the queen of the gods, both sister and wife to Jupiter.

July and August are named after Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, and his nephew and adopted son, Augustus, the first emperor.

The names of September, October, November, and December simply mean the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months, although these ordinal denoters are wrong under the present chronological system.

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