Have you ever paused to wonder at the names of our months? Nearly all of them are taken from the Roman calendar, which means there are some hold overs from a culture and language that may seem odd to us. Some of the months are named for gods (January, March, April, May, June), two were re-named for emporers (July and August) and the rest…the rest are very simply numbers.
This makes sense once you realize that the –ber ending means “month.” Add in the Latin words for the numbers 7 (sept), 8 (oct), 9 (nov), and 10 (dec) and you get September, October, November, and December.
November, then, literally means “ninth month.” But…why, when it’s the eleventh?
Because the Roman calendar only had 10 months, and it actually started in March! The oddity here being that they still knew the solar year was about 365 days, which meant that the months weren’t very regulated in length, and were apparently applied very haphazardly. Eventually the Greek lunar calendar was united with the solar calendar, January and February were added in, and the lengths were set.
In my part of the world, this ninth month that is in fact the eleventh month marks the beginning of a season of holidays, autumn turning to winter, and the year winding down. For many of us who are accustomed to celebrating Thanksgiving in November, the month also becomes a time to focus on gratitude.
What does November mean for your family and community?