January facts: a tribute feature

A snowflake-y tribute to January.

A snowflake-y tribute to January.

Delaney Hopp, Staff Writer

January. The first month of the year. Students tend to dislike the month as it is the month when Holiday Break ends. The month is also gloomy, dark, and cold. January also means the start of the new semester, so students and teachers are stressed since they are still trying to get back into the daily routine that is school. Despite these drawbacks, January is a very interesting month. Here are some interesting facts about January that you may not have known before.

The first day of January, New Years Day, is the most celebrated holiday globally. People throw parties that last through midnight December 31st and into January 1st, technically making it a January holiday. Almost all countries in the world have some sort of big celebration, for example, the Ball Drop which is televised live from New York until the “big moment” at midnight.

A lot of smaller holidays are celebrated in January. Many of them food related. The United States has over 30 food holidays in January including National Bean day (Jan 6th), National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day (Jan 3rd), National Milk Day (Jan 11th), and National Bagel Day (Jan 15th). January is also known as Oatmeal Month, Soup Month, and Hot Tea Month in the U.S. The American actor Thomas Roy is known for his quirky holidays. His holiday “Happy Mew Year For Cats Day” takes place on January 2nd, a day which cat lovers should rejoice over.

There are many actual national holidays in January. A famous one here in the U.S. is Martin Luther King Day. This holiday is a celebration of the abolitionist’s birthday and all schools and most banks and businesses have this day off. In Russia and Ukraine, Christmas is celebrated in January and the Catholic holiday Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th. Epiphany celebrates the journey of the three kings to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. A common tradition on Epiphany is to bake a cake with a small trinket or even an uncooked bean embedded within it, then have an “I Spy” like game where the guests try and find the object. Whoever finds it is deemed the “king” for the day and this person gets to wear a crown. This tradition is very common in France.

Something interesting about January is that it is the coldest month on average in the Northern Hemisphere, but the warmest in the Southern Hemisphere. This is all caused by the position of the planet in this specific period of time. It is the opposite in months like July and August.

January has some interesting meanings in other languages. For instance Latin; Ianuarius means “door” as a reference to January being the “opening” to a new year, like a door. In Saxon, January is Wulf-Monath or “wolf month” because wolves are commonly seen hunting in January snow. It is also known as Wintarmanoth (Winter Month) in Old English and Prosinec in Slovene. In Finnish, Tammikuu means January. It literally translates to “oak heart” since oak trees covered in snow are common sights in January.

January is associated with many symbols. Firstly the Zodiacs; the first part of the month, January 1st-19th, is Capricorn, the sea-goat. Capricorn traits are ambitious, wise, stubborn, and pessimistic. The second part of the month, January 20th-31st, is Aquarius, the water-bringer. Aquarius traits are loyal, detached, intelligent, and unpredictable. The birthstone of January is the garnet, a blood-red gemstone. The Japanese floral emblem of January is the camellia, but the birth flower of January is the cottage pink, a small pink wildflower.