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Monday, July 18, 2011

The calender is filled with pagan references

I am often told that our calender is based on the birth of Jesus as if this is proof of his existence. However, the calender is also filled with pagan references. Does that make the pagan religions true as well?

Days of the week:

The First Day: Sunday was named after the Sun god.
The second Day: Monday was named after the moon goddess.
The Third Day: Tuesday was named after the god Tyr.
The Fourth Day: Wednesday was named after the god Odin.
The Fifth Day: Thursday was named after the god Thor.
The Sixth Day: Friday was named after the goddess Frigga.
The Seventh Day: Saturday was named after the god Saturn.

The Months:

•January: Roman god Janus was the god of doorways, entrances, gateways, thresholds and beginnings, and therefore used for the opening of the New Year.
•February: This used to be the last month of the Roman calendar. On 15th day of the month was a Pagan festival of purification called Februa and so this month came to be known as Februa's month. The day before that, and the day after (ides), was a holiday to honour Juno. The goddess Juno was the Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses, and also the goddess of women and marriage. Was it coincidence that the nasty Emperor Claudius II arranged for a priest named Valentine to be clubbed to death and then beheaded on this day? See St. Valentine's Cross.
•March: The Roman god Mars, god of war and guardian of the state. This was the first month of the ancient Roman calendar.
•April: Considered a sacred Roman month for the goddess Venus. The name 'April' is probably from Apru, an Etruscan borrowing of Greek Aphrodite, a fertility goddess. Alternatively, it may stem from the Latin aperire (to open), as so many buds and blossoms open in this month (in the northern hemisphere).
•May: This is from Maia a Roman goddess of earth, honour and reverence. She was wife of Vulcan, mother of Mercury by Jupiter and daughter of Atlas. It became a popular girl's name in English.
•June: The chief goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods. June became another popular name for girls, as did:
•July: Named after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC to deify and immortalize his name. Gaius Julius Caesar was born in this month, which was formerly Quintilis (fifth) month of the Roman calendar.
•August: Named in 8 BC after Augustus Caesar, the adopted heir of Julius Caesar and the first Roman emperor (31 BC - 14 AD). A synonym for the adjective 'august' is 'venerable', and the emperor was known as the Venerable Caesar. Quite a contrast to the month's original name, 'Weodmonao', which means 'month of weeds'. Today's gardeners would agree with that.
The next four months are just based on a mundane numbering system. The year used to begin in March, so September through to December were months 7 to 10. A numbering system is still used in many cultures today for the whole year. Modern Japanese, for example, has 1-gatsu, 2-gatsu, 3-gatsu ... 12-gatsu. Similarly in Chinese: 1-yuè, 2-yuè, 3-yuè ... 12-yuè.
(Curiously, when Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar system in 1582 and established the Gregorian calendar with January as the first month of the year, he did not rename any of these months. December, for example, could have been changed to Christ-month or Jesus-month.)
•September: This name comes from the Latin septem, meaning 'seven'.
•October: This name comes from the Latin octo, meaning 'eight'. (Octopus - an 8-sided cat?) This is the month when people start thinking of Christmas and New Year parties. Amaze your friends by telling them the day of the week for Christmas Day and New Year's Day; these days are always the same weekday as 2nd October.
•November: This name comes from the Latin novem, meaning 'nine'.
•December: This name comes from the Latin decem, meaning 'ten'.

And while they are not actually part of the calender, let us not forget the origins of our season names:

•Winter: No mythical god … just cold! The season of wind and white snow, hence the name ‘winter’.
•Spring: The time when new plants spring up after a harsh winter.
•Summer: From Old Norse ‘sumarsdag’, the time for lots of sunshine.
•Autumn: The time for reaping and harvesting the main crops of the year. The old English name for this season of ‘harvest’ was replaced by the Latin autumnus in the 16th century. Also known as ‘fall’ in America, as this is the time the temperature falls and leaves fall from the trees. (And you’ve probably noticed that already.)

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