30 Dec Facts About January
January was named after the god Janus (Latin word for ‘door’) and established as the first month by the Roman Calendar. Janus has two faces which allowed him to look both backwards into the old year and forwards into the new one at the same time. He was the ‘spirit of the opening’. New Year’s Day is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. Now in modern times, we use it to look back and forward. There is a ‘door custom’ called the ‘first footing’. After midnight, a dark haired person would bring in coal to warm the hearth, bread to provide sustenance, money signifying prosperity, and greenery to ensure a long life. The visitor would leave with a pan of dust or ashes as a departure from the old year, leaving it in the dust.
January 1st – New Years Day is also Bloody Mary Day – a great way to toast the New Year.
January 6 – Epiphany (Twelfth Day after Christmas) Christians celebrate the visit of the Magi or the wise men to the baby Jesus. It is the final day of the 12 days of Christmas (recall the song). This is also the day holiday decorations begin their descent into storage. Also, the Monday after January 6 is known as several things, signifying the return to work after the holiday celebrations.
January 13 – St. Hilary’s Feast Day is typically the coldest day of the year. In the years 1086, 1205, 1536, 1550, 1564, 1750, 1608, 1683, 1715 are recorded cases of when the Thames River in London froze over. The last “Frost Fair” was held in 1814 on the frozen Thames.
January 20 – Inauguration Day, every four years in observance of the U.S. presidential election.
Birthstone is Garnet. Flower is Carnation and Snowdrop meaning admiration, love, hope, and rebirth. Zodiac sign of Capricorn begins the month and Aquarius starts on the 20th. Wolf is the Native American animal symbol.
January 4 – World Braille Day (birthday of founder) and Spaghetti Day
January 6 – Bean Day
January 9 – Apricot Day
January 11 – Human Trafficking Awareness Day
January 15 – Martin Luther King Day
January 24 – Peanut Butter Day
January 28 – Blueberry Pancake Day