Sunday, January 2, 2011


In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates and doors and openings; a god of beginnings and endings. It has roots in the word janitor which means a gatekeeper.

Janus is portray with two faces, one facing forward, one backward.

In January, the Sun returns and the days grow longer, marking the start of a new year. However, in Roman Times, the new year began in March, which is why September (seventh month), October (8), November and December seemed oddly placed in the calendar.

In myth, Janus was the patron of concrete and abstract beginnings of the world, i.e. religion, the gods, human life. He symbolized change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one universe to another.

In time of war 'The Janus' (gates/doors) were kept open after a contingent of soldiers had marched through it. The doors were closed at the conclusion of peace. Augustus and Nero declared peace and closed the doors of the Janus during their reigns.

Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, deaths and other beginnings.

Now you know.
Happy January.
Researched from internet encyclopedias

Gerrie Ferris Finger