Mesopotamia (Iraq) instituted the concept of celebrating the new year in 2000 BC and celebrated new year around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the first day of the year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months. (Septem is Latin for "seven"; octo, "eight"; novem, "nine"; and decem, "ten". ) Roman legend usually credited their second king Numa with the establishment of the months of Ianuarius and Februarius. These were first placed at the end of the year, but at some point came to be considered the first two months instead.