NAME ORIGINS OF MONTHS AND DAYS
NAME ORIGINS OF MONTHS AND DAYS
Did you ever wonder why the months and days are named the way they are? When you see the answers, you might be surprised.
Meanings of our Months:
The word “Month” comes from the word “Moon” so our Months should be from New Moon to New Moon.
Named for the Roman god Janus, “god of doorways” and new beginnings.
Named for the Roman festival of purification “Februa.” The first day of the Carnival season is always January 6th (which is twelve days after Christmas). This is called the Twelfth Night (Kings Night).
Named for the Roman God Mars, who was the god of war and guardian of the state. Mars was the Father of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.
From the Roman calendar month of Aprilis. Considered a sacred month for the goddess Venus. April also comes from the Latin word aperire meaning “to open” refering to a spring season, opening of the flowers and leaves.
Named for the Greek goddess Maia, the daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades.
Named for the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods.
Named for Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The month originally had the Roman name of Quintilis (meaning five).
Named for the Roman Emperor Augustus in 8 BC. The month was formerly known as Sextilis ( meaning six).
From the Latin word “septem” meaning seven, which was the seventh month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the ninth month)
From the Greek word “octo” meaning eight, which was the eight month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the tenth month)
From the Latin word “novem” meaning nine, which was the nineth month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the eleventh month)
From the Greek word “decca,” and the Latin word “decum” meaning ten, which was the tenth month of the calendar. (Yet we use it as the twelfth month)
The Seven-Day Week:
The Babylonians marked time with lunar months, as opposed to the Romans who used Solar calendars as we do today. They proscribed some activities during several special days of the month, particularly:
First - the first visible crecent, seventh - the waxing half moon, fourteenth - the full moon, nineteenth - dedicated to an offended goddess, twenty-first - the waning half moon, twenty-eigth - the last visible crecent, twenty-nineth - the invisible moon, and thirtieth (possibly) - the invisible moon.
The major periods are seven days, 1/4 month, long. This seven-day period was later regularized and disassociated from the lunar month to become our seven-day week. There are actually 4.3 weeks to an average months.
The Naming of the Days:
The Greeks named the days of the week after the sun, the moon and the five known planets at the time, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai “days of the Gods.” The Romans then substituted their own equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and Saturn. The two pantheons are very similar. The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn. so the list goes like this:
Sunday - Sun's day
Middle English sone(n)day or sun(nen)day
Old English sunnandæg “day of the sun”
Germanic sunnon-dagaz “day of the sun”
Latin dies solis “day of the sun”
Ancient Greek hemera heli(o)u, “day of the sun”
Monday - Moon's day
Middle English monday or mone(n)day
Old English mon(an)dæg “day of the moon”
Latin dies lunae “day of the moon”
Ancient Greek hemera selenes “day of the moon”
Tuesday - Tiu's day
Middle English tiwesday or tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg “Tiw's (Tiu's) day”
Latin dies Martis “day of Mars”
Ancient Greek hemera Areos “day of Ares”
Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr.
Ares, Greek god of war.
Mars is the Roman god of war. Ares is the Greek god of war.
Wednesday - Woden's day
Middle English wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai
Old English wodnesdæg “Woden's day”
Latin dies Mercurii “day of Mercury”
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu “day of Hermes”
Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod “violently insane” + -en “headship.” He is identified with the Norse Odin.
Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, theivery, eloquence and science. He is the messenger of the other gods.
Hermes is the Greek god of commerce, invention, cunning, and theft. He is the messenger and herald of the other gods. He serves as patron of travelers and rogues, and as the conductor of the dead to Hades.
Thursday - Thor's day
Middle English thur(e)sday
Old English thursdæg
Old Norse thorsdagr “Thor's day”
Old English thunresdæg “thunder's day”
Latin dies Jovis “day of Jupiter”
Ancient Greek hemera Dios “day of Zeus”
Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miölnir. He is the defender of the Aesir, destined to kill and be killed by the Midgard Serpent.
Jupiter (Jove) is the supreme Roman god and patron of the Roman state. He is noted for creating thunder and lightning.
Zeus is Greek god of the heavens and the supreme Greek god.
Friday - Freya's day
Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg “Freya's day”
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg “day” (most likely)
or composed of Frig “Frigg” + dæg “day” (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz “Freya's (or Frigg's) day”
Latin dies Veneris “Venus's day”
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites “day of Aphrodite”
Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning “beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free.”
Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in
Germany with Frigg.
Frigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is identified with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the Aesir. She is confused in Germany with Freya.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
Aphrodite (Cytherea) is the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
Saturday - Saturn's day
Middle English saterday
Old English sæter(nes)dæg “Saturn's day”
Latin dies Saturni “day of Saturn”
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu “day of Cronus”
Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue.
Cronus (Kronos, Cronos) is the Greek god (Titan) who ruled the Universe until dethroned by his son Zeus.
And there you have it. Planets, Gods, Celestial Affairs, Multicultural, and you probably had no clue as to where these common everyday names came from. Hopefully, this will clear things up a bit.
The ancient "Sabbath" was on Saturday for the Hebrews. Saturnday was reserved for the time when people worshipped the god Saturn which eventually led to the rings around our fingers at marriage, and the halos and the sacred eternal 360 degree circle of god and the Zodiac. After the adoption of Roman re-written Christianity, things were change to worship the Sun of God ... as Jesus represented. The center of the Zodiacal Sun surrounded by the 12 houses of the Zodiac - the 12 Apostles.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM.