From which Roman festival does the month of February derive its name? – 2017

From which Roman festival does the month of February derive its name?



Februa




The Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII, was introduced in the 16th century. The names of the 12 months that make up the modern calendar year have strong Roman ties. Februa was the Roman festival of purification, which occurred every year in the month then known as Februarius. While there is a Roman god named Februus, the festival came first, and it gave both this god and the month of February their names. Source: Dictionary.com blog




Februalia, also Februatio, was the Roman festival of ritual purification, later incorporated into Lupercalia. The festival, which is basically one of Spring washing or cleaning (associated also with the amount of precipitation during this time of the year) is ancient, and possibly of Sabine origin. According to Ovid, Februare as a Latin word which refers to means of purification (particularly with washing or water) derives from an earlier Etruscan word referring to purging.

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