Sunday, February 10, 2013

When is your birthday?

1/9/2013  Chatterbox
Betty Kaiser

Thirty days has September,
April, June and November,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except for February alone,
Which has twenty-eight rain or shine,
But on leap year, twenty-nine.

No matter the number of days in the months, every New Year of our lives begins with the month of January. So if this is your birthday month, congratulations! You and I, along with millions of other talented and organized Capricorns, will be the first ones this year to celebrate becoming another year older and hopefully wiser.

As a youngster, I remember that birthdays made me feel really special. It was all about being older and celebrating the responsibilities that came with age—from crossing the street by myself to babysitting the neighbor’s kids to taking the streetcar to school—getting older was a good thing.

As the birthday girl, my mother brought cupcakes and punch to school and the whole class sang me the birthday song. After school, my favorite friends came home with me to play games and gleefully watch me open presents. Then, I made a wish, blew out the candles and we all enjoyed cake and ice cream. They went home with party favors and I went to bed a happy girl.

January is a tricky month to have a birthday. Coming on the heels of Christmas and the cusp of a new year it catches folks off guard. I can’t tell you the number of times that family members say my card or gift will be late because they forgot to turn the page of their calendar to January. Of course, I really don’t care if the cards are late. As long as they trickle in, I’m happy. At my age, the important thing is to be remembered. I’m already old enough!

So, tell me, what month were you born in? Every month has something interesting or unique about it—starting with you! As you know, we use the Roman calendar. Originally, it had only 10 months beginning with March. January and February, coming in the dead of winter, were unnamed until Julius Caesar reformed the calendar. He named the unnamed, changed the number of days in some and renamed others. This is what we ended up with:

January is Janus’ festival month: the Roman god of gates and doorways is the door to the New Year. It has two faces looking in opposite directions and the ability to see all things past and future. We now have 31 days to begin the year.

February is the month of Februa, the Roman festival of purification on Feb. 14. In Old English it means, “Mud Month.” Thanks to Julius it has 28 days for three years and every fourth year 29 days.

March stands for Mars, the Roman god of war. It was the original first month of the year and time for resumption of war after winter. It has 31 days.

April is Aphrodite’s month. She is the Greek goddess of love and beauty identified with Venus. It is the growing month when trees and flowers begin to open.  It is 30 days long.

May is for Maia the daughter of Faunus and wife of Vulcan. She is identified with the Italic goddess of spring and fertility. It has 31 days.

June is Juno’s month. She is the principle goddess of the Roman Pantheon; goddess of marriage and the well being of women; wife and sister of Jupiter; mother of Mars and Vulcan. It is considered good luck to get married in June’s 30 days.

July is Julius Caesar’s month. He reformed the Roman calendar and renamed this month after himself in 46 BC. It is considered the warmest month in the Northern hemisphere and has 31 days.

August is Augustus Caesar ‘s month. He clarified and completed the calendar reform of Julius Caesar and renamed this month after himself. It has 31 days.

September kept its original name and means seventh month although it is the ninth month. Under Julius it became 30 days.

October kept its original name and means eighth month although it is the tenth month. To Anglo Saxons it meant winter full moon. It has always had 31 days.

November kept its original name and means ninth month although it is the eleventh. In Old English it is the Blood Month. Originally 29 days it became 30 days.

December kept its original name and the tenth month but it is the twelfth and last month of the year. It had 30 days; 29 and finally ended up with 31.

Now we come to the good part. There are special flowers and jewelry that are associated with certain months. So if you want to give someone an especially meaningful bouquet of flowers or striking piece of jewelry keep reading.

January: Carnation, Snowdrop
February: Violet, Primrose
March: Daffodil, Jonquil
April: Daisy, Sweet Pea
May: Lily of the Valley, Hawthorn
June: Rose, Honeysuckle
July: Larkspur, Water Lily
August: Gladiolas, Poppy
September: Aster, Morning Glory
October: Calendula, Cosmos
November: Chrysanthemum
December Narcissus

January: Garnet (Constancy)
February: Amethyst (Sincerity)
March: Aquamarine, Bloodstone (Courage)
April: Diamond, White Sapphire (Innocence
May: Emerald: (Love, Success)
June: Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite (Health and Longevity)
July: Ruby (Contentment)
August: Peridot, Sardonyx (Married Happiness)
September: Sapphire (Clear Thinking)
October: Opal, Tourmaline, Pink Sapphire (Hope)
November: Topaz, Citrine (Fidelity)
December: Turquoise, Zircon (Prosperity)

Now that we’ve covered all the months of the year, I wish you all the happiest of birthdays whenever it may be. May all your wishes come true and you have many happy returns of the day.

 Happy Birthday 2013!

Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart.

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