October is the tenth month of the year and has 31 days. It was originally the eighth month of the Roman calendar until 153 BCE.
The Eighth Became the Tenth
October is the tenth month of the year in the modern day Gregorian calendar. It was also the tenth month in the earlier Julian calendar.
The name October is derived from octo, which means eight in Latin. It dates back more than 2000 years to the ancient Roman calendar, which was replaced by the Julian calendar in 45 BCE.
- Middle English – octobre
- Latin name – October mensis – eighth month
- Anglo Saxons – Winterfylleth – winter full moon
History of October
October always had 31 days, and it became the tenth month of the year when the months of January and February were added, pushing October towards the end of the solar year, which is around 365.24 days long.
The Julian was substituted for the Gregorian calendar because it did not reflect the length of a year on Earth accurately enough. Today’s Gregorian calendar does a much better job at keeping up with our planet’s revolutions around the Sun, but even this calendar is not perfect.
Fall and Spring Month
October is in the fall in the Northern Hemisphere, the month after the autumnal equinox. However, as seasons are opposite on either side of the equator, October is in the spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The seasonal equivalent is April in the opposite hemisphere.
The month of October starts on the same day of the week as January in common years, but during leap years, October does not start on the same day of the week as any other month. It ends on the same day of the week as of February every year and January in common years only.
Calendula and Opal
October’s birth flower is the calendula. The birthstone for October is the opal and it is said that the opal will crack if worn by someone who is not born in October.