Where does the name January derive from?

Originally, the ancient Romans named the first month of the year Janus, who was the god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings.

Janus was represented with a double headed face, which was to enable him to look in both directions at the same time. Looking back at the old year whilst looking ahead to the new year.

Janus is the Roman god of gates and doors (ianua), beginnings and endings, and hence represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions.

He was worshipped at the beginning of the harvest time, planting, marriage, birth, and other types of beginnings, especially the beginnings of important events in a person’s life.

Janus also represents the transition between primitive life and civilization, between the countryside and the city, peace and war, and the growing-up of young people.