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Anumeha Rajvanshi

The History Behind January

By Lilly Higgins

The month of January. The beginning of a New Year, 2022. A year with a lot of hopeful expectations, yet it is not starting the way we all hoped. 

Do you know the history behind January? 

January is named after the Roman god Janus. The name originates from the Roman word Januae (spirit of doorways) and Jani (archways). Janus is known as the ‘god of gates’. He is uniquely a full Roman god, with no Greek equivalent. This is very rare, because Roman gods usually have a counterpart in Greek Mythology. Janus dates back to Romulus (a time before Rome was created). He held power to the gate of Heaven, along with other ritualistic gateways. He is always represented with a double-faced head. One facing the future, one facing the past. Along with a key, that symbolizes the protection of doors and gateways. Many scholars believe that Janus is the ‘god of all beings’. He is a god of the beginning and end of countless events such as seasons, days, months, years, deaths, births, marriage, and the starting of new journeys. These all encapsulate the doors between past and future.

Let us now celebrate the New Year. Look back at your past, but focus on the future ahead. Your door is waiting!

Lilly Higgins is a sophomore majoring in Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. She lives in Gilroy, CA. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, hanging out with her friends & family, and loves listening to music.
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