Month

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A month is a portion of a year corresponding roughly to the passage of the Earth round the moon (a 'lunar month', of which there are, in fact, thirteen). There are twelve terrestrial months in the Gregorian Calendar, a practice started with the Romans in the Julian Calendar. The months are named after pagan gods, goddesses, festivals, events, Roman emperorsm, and numbers. The ninth to twelfth months are named after the Latin words for seven to ten because in Roman times the year started with March.

Contents

Months of the Year

The months in order:

Name Days
January 31
February 28
March 31
April 30
May 31
June 30
July 31
August 31
September 30
October 31
November 30
December 31

On leap years, February will have 29 days instead of 28.

A rhyme taught to children to remember the days of the month:

Thirty days hath September
April, June, and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Except for February alone
Which has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year

January

Originally named after Janus, the two-headed Roman god of the New Year. One of his heads looks back to the previous year, and the other looks forward in anticipation of the coming year. New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Day are holidays that both occur during January.

February

The word derives from the Latin "Februārius" (ménsis), meaning "expiatory" (month), derivative of "februa," meaning "expiatory offerings." It was named after the Roman purification or forgiveness festival. It is the shortest of the months. President's Day and Valentine's Day fall within February.

March

Originally amed after the Roman god of war, Mars. During Roman era, it was the first month of the year, thus explaining the names of September, October, November and December (respectively seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth in Latin, referring to their former relatives positions in the Roman calendar). St. Patrick's Day occurs in March as does the famous reference to the Ides of March, the death of Julius Caesar. Easter takes place in either March or April.

April

From the Latin word aperire meaning "to open" as in flower buds. The first day of April is April Fools Day. Easter takes place in either March or April

May

Named after the Norse goddess of the Earth, Maia. Mother's Day is in May.

June

Was named for Juno, the wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. Father's Day is in June.

July

Was named after Julius Caesar, the famous Roman general and statesman who was the creator of the Julian Calendar. The Fourth of July is celebrated as the day of the United States independence from Great Britain.

August

Was named after Augustus Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome.

September

Literally means "seventh month" in Latin in reference to its location in the old Roman Calendar. Labor Day is in September.

October

Literally means "eighth month" in Latin in reference to its location in the old Roman Calendar. Halloween takes place on the last day of October.

November

Literally means "ninth month" in Latin in reference to its location in the old Roman Calendar. Thanksgiving takes place in November as does Veterans Day.

December

Literally means "tenth month" in Latin in reference to its location in the old Roman Calendar. Christmas takes place in December.

See Also

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