The New Year’s 1st Mounth January, Janus, the god of endings and beginnings

January as a mounth name derived from Janus, a Roman god represented with two heads; one of his face looks back into the past, the other looks into the future. He is known as the guardian of time since his images were placed above doorways. He is usually depicted holding a royal sceptre/staff (Heavenly father) in his one hand, and a key (a key to the eternal secrets) in his other hand. The opening mounth janua “the gate” of the year was sacred for him. His female counterpart is known as Jana. They are sometimes represented together. They both symbolize winter and summer solistices. Winter solistice was also related to the festival of the NewYear’s Day, when people gave each other presents, consisting of sweetmeats, honeycakes, rigs and copper coins having double heads.

janus and jana.jpg

However, winter and summer solistices have been symbolized by different images of various gods and goddesses since the prehistoric times. Ancient people loved to express nature forces and events with anthropomorhic images like the ones above.


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