Origin of the names of the months of the year

The months of the year in Spanish have their origin in Latin. Some months refer to Roman gods, others to emperors and the last four have their meaning in numbers. In this article, we explain the origin of the names of the months of the year.


January comes from the Latin ianuarius and takes its name from the god Janus, who was a god who had two faces facing both sides of his profile. Janus was the god of the gates, the beginnings and the ends. February was named in honor of the Februa, a feast of purification that the Sabines celebrated annually.


The name of March derives from the Latin Martivs, which was the first month of the Roman calendar. Martivs in turn derives from Mars the Latin name of Mars, Roman god of war. The origin of the name April is not very clear. It has been related to the verb aperire (open) associating it with the fact that in this month spring opens the earth, the flowers, etc., but there is no etymological foundation to sustain it.


In May, the ancient Romans called him Maius and his name seems to come from the Roman goddess Maia, who is the goddess of fertility, chastity and health and whose festival was celebrated in this month. There are different theories of where it comes from. the name of June. Some say it comes from June Brute, founder of the Roman Republic. Others believe that it was so called because it was dedicated to youth and many think it took its name from the goddess Juno, goddess of marriage and queen of the gods.


The name of the month of July comes from Iuilius Caesar, that is, Julius Caesar since he was born in this month. August was named after the Roman Emperor Augustus Octavius . In the old Roman calendar, the month of August was called Sextilis but Octavio Ausgusto decided to give it his name imitating Julius Caesar.


The name of September comes from the same Latin root of seventh and it is because it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar. October has this name because it was the eighth month of the Roman calendar.


The name of November derives from novem (nine in Latin) for being the ninth month of the Roman calendar. He kept his name even when the months of January and February were added to the year. The name of the month of December derives from having been the tenth month of the Roman calendar.