How We Named Our Months and Days


The names of the days and months all come from antiquity.


The first month of the year was named after the two-faced Roman god Janus. As the god of doorways and gates, he had two faces that each looked in a different direction.


During this month, the ancient Romans celebrated their festival of purification, called Februa. It was celebrated on the 15th of the month, and the month’s name translates as “of Februa.”


In the calendar used by the ancient Romans, March was the first month of the year. As such, it was time for war to begin again. March was named after Mars, the god of war for this reason.


For the ancient Greeks, the ideals of beauty and love were highly prized. The Greek goddess Aphrodite presided over both of these concepts, and this month was named for her.


As a month that brings in warm weather, this month was named after the Roman goddess of the Spring. The goddess Maia had a name that translated to “the great one,” and she was the wife of Vulcan.


This month was named after the highest goddess in Roman mythology. Juno was the wife of Jupiter (as well as his sister), and she was the goddess of women’s well-being and marriage. Is it any surprise that so many couples get married in June?


The calendar itself was changed to the Julian calendar by Julius Caesar. As he set the number of days in each month and removed a superfluous month, he also took the initiative to name a month after himself. July is that month.


Like Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar named a month after himself. After taking power as emperor, he finished the reform of the calendar that his predecessor had not been able to finish. August is his namesake month.


In the old calendar system, September was the seventh month of the year. The name September meant seventh month in Latin.


Again from the old calendar system, the name October means eight month.


Another Latin numbered-month name, November meant ninth month in Latin.


Another holdover from the old calendar system, December is Latin for 10th month.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Like many of the names for months, the names of days come from a number of ancient deities.

Monday Monday

is a later, Saxon translation of the Latin phrase “day of the moon.” The moon was highly important to ancient people and helped to mark the passage of time.


In Latin, Mars was the god of war, and Tuesday was his day. This was adopted into Anglo Saxon with the replacement of their own war god, Tiw.


Originally named for Mercury, the Roman god of commerce as well as the gods’ messenger, the Saxons changed this to the day of Woden, the king of their pantheon of gods.


This day is Thor’s day. As the Norse god of storms, lightning and thunder, he was an important deity to much of Scandinavia.


This is Frigga’s day. Frigga was the Norse goddess of fertility, marriage and the home.


This day is for the god Saturn. Saturn’s day is named for the god of feasting and fun.


Sunday is the day of the sun, or Sun’s day. It represents the importance of the sun and Sol, the Roman god of the sun. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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