Thursday, 21 May 2009

Origin and meaning of the names of the Months of the year.

Where do the names of the months originate and what do they mean. Short summary of each one with the birthstones and flowers associated with each month.

January, the first month of the year was named after the Roman god Janus. He was the god of gateways and doors and the custodian of entrances and halls. January, the first month of the year, being the gateway to the new year. Origin of the word Janitor
Birthstone – Garnet representing consistency
Flower – Carnation / Snowdrop

The second month of the year and the shortest. From Latin Februum, meaning purification. The Romans had a purification festival on the 15th of February each year. ( Oxford refers to a “February face” ? )
Birthstone – Amethyst
Flower - Violet and Primrose

Also originates from early Roman times and named after Mars (Martius) the Roman god of war. March is the first day of spring in the Northern Henmisphere, and in days passed it meant the start of the military campaign season.
Marching off to war?
Birthstone – Bloodstone/aquamarine meaning courage
Flower – Daffodil

Bit of an uncertainty here, but mostly attributed to the Latin word Aprilis, meaning to open. That time of the year when flowers start to bloom. Roman goddess associated with this month was Venus.
Birthstone – Diamond
Flower – Daisy or sweet pea.

Not much about May. Originally named after the Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, also known as the Greek goddess Maia, whose festival was held in May. ( Will look for more detail later)
Birthstone – Emerald, meaning love and success
Flower – Lily of the Valley

Names after the Roman goddess Juno, Junius. She was also known as the goddess of marriage. It was considered good luck to be married during this month, and a large number of people were married in June.
Birthstone – Pearl and Moonstone meaning health and longevity
Flower - Rose.

This post is getting a bit too long, will split in two and do the balance a bit later
Reference: Wikipedia and Oxford Dictionary


Gill said...

Such and interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Graham said...

Thank you for the nice commet, don't get many comments at all, good or bad. Dont like the bad ones. truth be told I was going to skip the last six, but your comment has motivated the last


Anonymous said...

thnx for the info