Rome

The God of Beginnings

In Roman mythology, Janus, represented by a head with two faces looking in opposite directions, is the god of beginnings who looks to the future and to the past. Romans dedicated the first month of the year to Janus—thus, January. Because Janus represented change and transition, Romans worshipped him at important milestones: marriages, births, the beginning of the harvest. But the main festival in his honor—the Agonium—took place on January 9.
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