The months of the yearView(s):
We call the very first month January. Pagan Rome had many gods among whom was Janus. It was to honour him that the Romans named the first month of the new year January. He is the god who is associated with Wisdom. He is said to have two faces with one to see the hind side.. The Romans believed that he could see the past and also the future with the twin faces.
In ancient times the first of January was called “Janeru” and the name was given by emperor Pompeian. Unlike now, January had only 30 days according to the old calendar. It was made to contain an additional day by Julius Caesar.
The Sinhala equivalent of this month is Duruthu. Seeds planted after the monsoon begin to grow in this month and hence the farmers named it as the month of “sprouting.” So January came as the herald of the New Year.
Februa (or Februatio) was an ancient purification festival held early in the springtime. This was the time when houses and buildings were cleansed and purged;
and life for people was also seen as becoming cleansed and renewed.
The Roman month Februarius (“of Februa,” whence the English February) is named for the Februa/Februatio festival, which occurred on the 13th to 15th days of this Roman month. There was a god was named Februus by the Romans, but the calendar month (as well as this god) was named for the ceremonial, cleansing festival. Thus, in this instance, the name of February is due to the Februatio celebration and not directly to the Roman god.
The Sinhala month is Navam so called because coconut growers believe that nine branches of coconut trees fall during this month.
(To be continued…)
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