The Late Addition

In the Roman calendar, February was a late addition.

Put at the original end of the calendar year (in the first ordering), February is not named for a Roman god or goddess, but rather for the work of one of those who already had a month named after them.

June had been named for the goddess Juno, so when February was tacked on to the end of the calendar year, they decided to honor the deity again by naming it “Juno Februata” which means “Juno Who Burns with Feverish Love.”

It got massaged into “February.”

Sticking this month at the end of the calendar was an attempt to make a fresh start for those who followed it, with love burning all the mishaps and foibles of the previous year, entering Spring as a baby. Today we’ve lost a bit of this, though happenstance does place Valentine’s feast day in the middle of this odd hinge month.

February now acts as a swinging door between Winter and Spring, and perhaps the love of the month is best seen in the frost that gives way slowly, in increments, to the budding green stems full of new life potential.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s