A collection of portraits inspired by the symbolism of each month of the year
2015 calendars featuring this series are now available here!

January, the month of new beginnings, and making/breaking new year’s resolutions. Though traditionally winter was considered a month-less period, eventually January replaced March as the first month in the Roman calendar. It was named after the god of the doorway, Janus who was said to have two faces allowing him to look backwards and forwards into the old and new year simultaneously. The Anglo-Saxons called January ‘wolf monath’ because hungry wolves came into the towns in search of food. It’s typically the coldest month in the northern half of the world (and the warmest on the other half).
January’s birthstone is the garnet representing constancy. The month’s flower, the carnation, symbolizes love and fascination and is one of the world’s oldest cultivated flowers.
It is the month of New Year’s Day, Fruit Cake Toss Day (the third) and Rubber Duckie Day (the thirteenth), Thank You month, Hot Tea Month, and Clean Up Your Computer Month. Personality traits of those born in January include ambition, a love to teach, critical, hardworking, reserved, and the desire to make others happy.
February - the month I always misspelled. Though originally the last month of the calendar, it’s now the second (and shortest) month. Initially called Februarius, it was named after the Latin term februum meaning purification. It stems from the mid-month purification ritual Februa.
The many names of February are quite fun. The Anglo Saxons called February Sol-monath meaning cake-month, because cakes were offered to the gods (on the other hand, it was also traditionally called Kale-monath). The Finnish term for February is helmikuu meaning ‘month of the pearl’, because droplets of snow falling from trees resembled pearls. Being the shortest month, February was known in Welsh as y mis bach (the little month).
Its birthstone is the amethyst symbolizing humility, spiritual wisdom, sincerity and quick-wittedness. February’s birth flower, the violet, represents faithfulness, modesty and virtue.
Of course, St Valentines Day is celebrated in February (an old tradition was that the first man an unmarried woman saw on 14th February would be her future husband), along with Groundhog Day, Leap Day every four years, African American History Month, Snack Food Month, Bird Feeding Month, and Chocolate Lover's Month. Happy birthday Februarians - you are meant to be clever, temperamental, humble, sensitive, daring, stubborn, and have a love for leisure and entertainment :)
March! The third month of the year and the beginning of spring and autumn (in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere respectively).  March was originally the first month in the calendar, and certain cultures still celebrate it as the beginning of the New Year. It was originally named “Martius” after Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture, because it began the season for both farming and warfare.
The Anglo-Saxons called the month “Hlyd monath” meaning Stormy month. In many languages including Ukrainian, Czech, and Slovene, March was named after the birch tree.
One of March’s birthstones is the aquamarine symbolizing courage. Its flower, the daffodil, represents rebirth and new beginnings.
March includes the Equinox Earth Day, Women’s History Month, Saint Patrick’s Day, Pi Day, Save a Spider Day, World Math Day, and Waffle Day. Happy birthday to those born in March - you are meant to be generous, sensitive, observant, serene, moody, musically gifted, and trustworthy!
April is the fourth month of the year. It was originally called Aprilis by the Romans possibly named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Aprilis also meant “to open” alluding to the seasonal blossoming of flowers and trees around springtime. It’s a time of planting and spring cleaning.
After July, April is the second rainiest month of the year bringing about the popular expression “April showers bring May flowers.”
April’s birthstone is the diamond symbolizing purity and love. Its birth flower is the daisy, often connected with innocence and gentleness.
April is the month of April Fools’ Day, Earth Day on the 22nd, Easter Sunday (though not always), Poetry Month, Frog Month, Tweed Day on the 3rd, and International Dance Day on the 29th. April babies are meant to be active, attention seeking, friendly, hasty, adventurous, and loving.
May is the fifth month of the calendar and a time for Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Either way a beautiful month!
The month was most likely named after the Greek goddess of Spring and growth, Maia. The Roman poet Ovid instead claimed May was named after the Latin word maiores meaning elders. He also concluded that “bad girls wed in May” and it was considered back luck to get married this month. It was also considered bad luck to buy a broom in May…hmmm
May's birthstone, the emerald, is symbolic of love and success.  Its birth flower, Lily of the Valley, is associated with sweetness, purity and humility despite its highly poisonous nature.
Mother’s Day is the most well-known holiday of the month. Other events include Cinco de Mayo, Better Sleep Month, Respect for Chickens Month, Teacher Appreciation Month, Towel Day on the 25th,  and Pickle Week on the fourth week. Traits of those born in May can be: imaginative, eager for debate, beautiful, easily influenced, a lover of art and literature, quick thinking and understanding :)
June is the sixth month of the calendar year and heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere, and the start of winter in the South. Consequently, June has the longest number of daylight hours in the North and the shortest in the South.
The Latin term for June is Junius, named after the Roman Goddess Juno. She was the goddess of marriage which is one reason why the June is a popular for weddings.
One of June's birthstones is the pearl, a symbol of purity and innocence. Its birth flower, the rose, represents love, passion and appreciation. Different rose colors have various meanings.
Oddly enough, June is both Candy Month and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. Father’s Day is widely celebrated toward the end of the month and other dates includes Air Balloon Day on the 5th, Yoyo Day on the 7th and Celebration of the Sense Day on the 24th. It’s also Adopt-A-Cat Month and National Bathroom Reading Month. Those born in June could be friendly, soft-spoken, temperamental, picky, procrastinators, and day dreamers.
July is the seventh month of the year, though it was originally the fifth. Therefore it was first called Quintilis, though was later changed in honor of Julius Caesar’s birth month. On average, it’s the warmest month in Northern Hemisphere and the coldest in the Southern Hemisphere. There typically isn’t as much rainfall in July, though flowers and insects are abundant.
July's birthstone, the ruby, symbolizes contentment, wealth, and wisdom. Its birth flower, the larkspur (which can be poisonous), represents attachment and open heart.
National Ice Cream Month!!! Need I say more? Other July events include National Picnic Month, Parents' Day on the fourth Sunday, Cow Appreciation Day on the 15th, Hammock Day on the 22nd, and Cheesecake Day on the 30th mmm. Traits for those born in July include: honest, tactful, quiet, witty, hardworking, and fun to be with.
Though originally called Sextilis because it’s position in the Roman calender as the sixth month, it’s now the eighth. It was renamed in honor of Augustus who chose the month because he apparently had some cool victories during that time.

August is not too heavy on symbolism though it’s birthstone the peridot, which is a pretty olive green color. It’s birth flowers are the poppy or gladiolus, the later which symbolizes strength of character. The hottest days of the year often fall in August (though not for me, it’s foggy year round where I live)

Any August birthdays? A few traits for august include a sense of humor, attractive, brave, proud, emotional, and generous :)
September! It’s the first month of Autumn, which to me is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. The name comes from the Roman word “septum” meaning seven - it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar. The Romans believed the month was looked after by Vulcan, god of fire, and was therefore associated flames and volcanic eruptions. The subtle hints of yellow and orange around September’s eye are meant to allude to this.
The ancient Greeks honored Demeter, goddess of harvest, during the month. The Anglo-Saxons also associated the month with harvest, and called it Barley month. It was the time of year when they harvested barley to be made into their favorite drink, barley brew.
September has three birth flowers. Represented here is the aster. It’s a passionate autumn flower which symbolizes love, daintiness, and patience. Sapphire is the birthstone, and represents intuition and peacefulness. September is also national potato/chicken/biscuit month (among others - mmmmm).
September babies! You are meant to be careful, calm, cautious, sympathetic, trustworthy, critical, motivated, clever, have a love for travel, and have a good memory. Good stuff!
October! The tenth month of the year, though originally the eighth (hence the name “octo”). It’s known as the month of sudden changes, and was termed the “yellow month’” by the Slavs because of the fading of the leaf. The ancient Europeans marked the month as the dying harvest and thus the ending of the year. October was therefore seen as a month of mysteries and dark secrets, which lends itself well to the celebrations of All Hallows Eve or Halloween.
It’s birth flower, the calendula, symbolizes grief and sorrow and is valued for it’s medicinal and culinary properties. October’s birthstone is the opal which is said to bring love, passion and stimulate emotional expression and vigor. It was believed that the opal would crack if it was worn by someone who wasn’t born in October.
October is national pizza month, squirrel awareness month as well as many other notable remembrances :D For those born in October (happy bday!) some traits are: chatty, friendly, opinionated, emotional, honest, loves travel art and literature, and is a daydreamer.
Welcome November, the eleventh month of the year! Originally positioned as the ninth month of the year, it retained the name “novem” meaning nine.
Many end-of-harvest festivals associated with death and fertility were celebrated this month across Eurasia. Traditional events include All Souls Day, Mischief Night, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day. The Anglo-Saxons called November “wind monath” because the cold winds began to blow. It was also, pleasantly enough, referred to as blood month since the cows were slaughtered for winter food.
One of November’s birthstones, the yellow topaz, is thought to promote happiness and ward against depression. It symbolizes youth, hope, health and friendship. Romans believed wearing it would help eyesight and increase strength and intellect. The chrysanthemum, November’s birth flower, symbolizes secret love, compassion and friendship (particularly in Japan). They were also used to decorate graves on all Souls Day hence the name “flowers of the dead.”
Some important monthly celebrations: international drum month, sweet potato awareness month, movember, and peanut butter lovers month. There seems to be lots of birthdays around this time of year - happy bday to anyone celebrating soon! You guys are supposed to be sharp thinking, dynamic, inquisitive, patient, hard to anger and high-spirited!
December is absolutely my favorite month, so I’m excited to post this month’s installment! I love this time of year, the festivities, traditions, mood, music, and ohmygoshthefood. I've already gorged myself with pies, more to come, no regrets.
Anyway, December is the last month of the Gregorian calendar. Its name is derived from the Latin word meaning tenth, which was its original place in the calendar. The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Yule monath’ because of the customary burning of the Yule log, as well as ‘Heiligh monath’ or holy month because of Christmas celebrations. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, St. Nicholas Day, Winter Solstice, etc. are all celebrated in December’s jam-packed, awesome holiday schedule.
This month’s birthstone, the turquoise, is seen as a symbol of wealth, healing, and protection and is thought to bring good fortune and peace to the home. December’s flower is the narcissus and symbolizes self-love and vanity (due to Greek mythology) though also rebirth and new beginnings.
A few monthly observances include World AIDS Day on the 1st, International hug day on the the 4th, Monkey Day on the 14th, National Read a New Book Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and National Chocolate Day on the 27th (don’t mind celebrating that all month-round). December traits include ambitious, funny, hasty, social, loyal, prideful, and active.


A collection of artwork inspired by the sybolism of each month of the year

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