The word "January" has its origin in ancient Rome. It is derived from the Latin word "ianuarius," which was named after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus was also considered the god of beginnings and transitions, often depicted with two faces, one looking to the past and the other to the future.

The month of January, being the first month of the year was seen as a time of transition and new beginnings. The Roman calendar originally had ten months, and March was considered the beginning of the year. However, when the calendar was reformed, January and February were added, and January became the first month.

The name "January" has persisted through various cultures and languages, maintaining its connection to the idea of new beginnings.

The word "February" has its origins in Latin. It comes from the Latin word "februarius," which is derived from "februa," an early Roman festival and cleansing ritual held on February 15. The festival involved purification and atonement, and it is thought that the name of the month was associated with these activities.

In the Roman calendar, February was originally the last month of the year. However, when the calendar was reformed and January and February were added, February became the second month. The Roman calendar was based on the lunar year, and the addition of the two months helped align it more closely with the solar year.

Over time, the word "februarius" evolved into "February" in English, retaining its association with the Roman festival and the idea of purification.


Anastasia Spyropoulou

Anastasia Spyropoulou

Editor in Chief at ELT NEWS