The 12 Months of the Year
A year has 365 days divided into 12 months in the modern day Gregorian calendar. Each month has either 28, 30 or 31 days during the common year.
From 10 to 12 months
The months of the year originated as a way to mark time and break up the long seasons into shorter periods based on the Moon’s cycle around the Earth . A month is a unit of time that was first used and invented in Mesopotamia to measure the natural period related to the cycle of the moon.
The addition of January and February moved the months September, October, November and December to no longer correspond with their meaning. The months from September through December have names that mean the seventh through tenth months of the Roman calendar.
There are many calendars that use months to divide up the year such as the Islamic calendar, the Hebrew calendar, and the Hindu calendar to just name a few. Although the Gregorian calendar is the most commonly used calendar today, other calendars are still used to calculate certain holidays and annual feasts to correspond with the Gregorian calendar.
Old names of months
Months in the ancient Roman calendar include:
- Mercedonius - an occasional month after February that would be used to realign the Roman calendar. Today we use Leap Day for this alignment.
- Quintilis - renamed July in honor of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE.
- Sextilis - renamed August in honor of Augustus in 8 BCE.
The Twelve Months of the Year
- January - 31 days
- February - 28 days; 29 days in leap years
- March - 31 days
- April - 30 days
- May - 31 days
- June - 30 days
- July - 31 days
- August - 31 days
- September - 30 days
- October - 31 days
- November - 30 days
- December - 31 days
How many have 28, 30 or 31 days?
The Gregorian calendar has four months with a length of 30 days and seven months that are 31 days long. February is the only month that is 28 days long in common years and 29 days long in leap years.
In this Article
- From 10 to 12 months
- Old names of months
- The Twelve Months of the Year
- How many have 28, 30 or 31 days?