Judeo-Christians firmly adhere to the verse in the scripture which says, "Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one." In the wake of the polytheism that existed during the time of Moses, no other words seemed clearer. In order to avoid such association with foreign gods and pagan holidays, some modern day Christians have even refused to send their children to school on days such as Halloween. Though such practices are well intended, most Christians are unsuspecting of the multiple gods and pagan origins in which they acknowledge and utter on a daily basis; that is, the months and days of the week. A closer look at the Gregorian calendar which is used by various countries and Christians world wide, will expose just how much paganism surrounds the life of the most devout, observant and pious server of the one God.
Months of the year
Known as the month which ushers in a new year in America, in ancient Rome, January was in celebration of one of many gods. The month is named after Janus, also known as the god of the doorway. This god brought in not only a new year, but a new month as well since January and February were late additions to the 10 month calendar originally starting in March in Rome.
Understood as the shortest month of the year, February was born out of a pagan celebration. The festival of Februa, from whence the name February arrived, was a festival of sacrifice and purification. During Februa in ancient Rome, goats and dogs were sacrificed and their skins were used as thongs (februa). These thongs were used to lightly whip women and girls to ensure healthy fertility for them. This celebration was also known as Lupercalia, celebrated in February.
Known as the beginning of Spring, March was also known to ancient Romans as the month of war. March is named after Mars considered to be the god of war in Roman mythology. Romans believed that if a war was to start, March would be the best time to move since Mars would protect them and provide for warmer weather as opposed to wintery weather which was no good for battle.
In the duration of Spring, the ancient Romans also named this month Aprilis. This month is believed to be named for a Spring goddess which meant 'to open.' Being that flowers bloomed and fruits ripened, this goddess provided an opening to new life.
May for the ancient Romans was a time to celebrate the Greek originated goddess Maia. Maia was another Spring goddess of fertility. Usually, Romans would take a Greek god's name and Romanize it, in this case however, the name Maia remained which is where May derives.
Known for the beginning of summer and the end of a school year in modern times, June gets its name from Juno, the wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. Equal to the Greek goddess Hera, Juno was also known as the goddess of marriage, thus, in Roman mythology, the month of June was the best time for marriage.
In America, July marks the month of independence from Britain. In ancient Rome, mythological deities took a back seat to human gods, better known as dictators and emperors. With that said, July gets its name from Julius, as in Julius Caesar. In recognition of Caesar's birthday, an entire month was named after him.
August as July, derives from an emperor by the name of Caesar Augustus. The adopted son of Julius Caesar, Augustus named August after himself due to his many victories during this particular month.
September,October, November, December
These last four remaining months simply took the number of their original ordinal month positions prior to January and February being added. September was the seventh month, October was the eighth month, November was the ninth month and December was the tenth month.
Days of the week
Known as a day of worship for most Catholics and Christians, Sunday derives from the Greek mythological story of Apollo shinning as bright as Helios (the sun). Afterwards, a day was named after him called Sunday. Later, during Roman rule, the sun became a major symbol of worship in which this day became the focal point of serving the luminary that powers planet Earth.
The worship of luminaries were far from over on this particular day. Monday is derived from the Latin language spoken by ancient Romans known as, 'lunae dies.' This day was designed for the worship of the moon. The spelling derives from moon's day which changed to Monday in old English.
The third day of the week Tuesday derives from a Norse god by the name of Tiw. Tiw was equal to Mars known in Roman mythology as the god of war. On this day, Tiw was served according to Norse mythology whose name was later pronounced Tuesday which remains on the Gregorian calendar.
The middle of the week's day is also subjected to Norse mythology. As a spin off of the Roman god Mercury, Odin/Woden is considered to be the all mighty god of gods within the Norse myths. Considered so powerful, his name was sealed within the days of the weeks as Wednesday from the old English Woden's day.
The Norse were cognizant of Rome when choosing gods. Just as the Romans utilized Greek gods and changed their names, many Norse gods were of Roman origin as well. Thursday, originally designated for the Roman god Jupiter became Thor in Norse mythology. Thor was a hammer holding god of thunder who had his name attached to the calendar as Thursday, from Thor's day.
Most peoples favorite day of the week was also subjected to paganism. According to Norse mythology, Odin (also Woden) was married to a love goddess equal to the Roman Venus. Her name was Frigg which was given her own day later known as Friday from Frigg's day.
The seventh and final day of the week, known as the Sabbath to Jews and some Christians also became convoluted with paganism. Saturday is named after Saturn whom the Romans referred planet Saturn to. Saturn the deity was also known as the god of agriculture.
It has been noted that the Roman and Norse days of the week were initially named for the planets and in turn named after their gods. In any event, the belief that planets controlled the fortunes of Earth and in return giving them names of mythological gods still constitutes paganism.
So, what should the devout, observant and pious server of God do about such new understandings of the Gregorian calendar? Absolutely nothing. Unlike keeping a child away from Halloween, the calendar is attached to everyday life and would stir up confusion to say the least if one tried to pull away from such a universal understanding of days and months. So before any Christians decide to write letters to congress in order to change these titles of the months and days, think of the words of the apostle Paul. Paul said, "We are in the world but not of the world." Not being of the world refers to the spiritual walk with God while being in the world must allow us to simply deal with whatever the world dishes out.