January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first month to have the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa. Birthday Number the letter "J".
Ancient Roman observances during this month include Cervula, and Juvenalia; celebrated January 1, as well as one of three Agonalia, celebrated January 9, and Carmentalia, celebrated January 11. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.
January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after the Latin word for door (ianua), since January is the door to the year and an opening to new beginnings. The month is conventionally thought of as being named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology, but according to ancient Roman farmers' almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.
Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days). Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). In contrast, each specific calendar year was identified by the names of the two consuls, who entered office on May 1 or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.
Various Christian feast dates were used for the New Year in Europe during the Middle Ages, including March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) and December 25. However, medieval calendars were still displayed in the Roman fashion with twelve columns from January to December. Beginning in the 16th century, European countries began officially making January 1 the start of the New Year once again—sometimes called Circumcision Style because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, being the seventh day after December 25.
Historical names for January include its original Roman designation, Ianuarius, the Saxon term Wulf-monath (meaning "wolf month") and Charlemagne's designation Wintarmanoth ("winter / cold month"). In Slovene, it is traditionally called január. The name, associated with millet bread and the act of asking for something, was first written in 1466 in the Škofja Loka manuscript.
According to Theodor Mommsen, 1 January became the first day of the year in 600 AUC of the Roman calendar (153 BC), due to disasters in the Lusitanian War. A Lusitanian chief called Punicus invaded the Roman territory, defeated two Roman governors, and killed their troops. The Romans resolved to send a consul to Hispania, and in order to accelerate the dispatch of aid, "they even made the new consuls enter into office two months and a half before the legal time" (March 15).
- January's birthstone is the garnet, which represents constancy.
- Its birth flower is the cottage pink Dianthus caryophyllus or galanthus.
- The Chinese floral emblem of January is the Prunus mume.
- The Japanese floral emblem of January is the camellia (Camellia sinensis).
- In Finnish, the month of tammikuu means the heart of the winter and because the name literally means "oak moon", it can be inferred that the oak tree is the heart of the grand forest with many valuable trees as opposed to the typical Arctic forests, which are typically pine and spruce. The photograph of a large tree covered with ice against a blue sky is a familiar scene during Finland's winter.
- The zodiac signs for the month of January are Capricorn (until January 19) and Aquarius (January 20 onwards).
- Alzheimer's Awareness Month (Canada)
- Dry January (United Kingdom)
- National Codependency Awareness Month  (United States)
- National Mentoring Month (United States)
- National Healthy Weight Awareness Month  (United States)
- Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (United States)
- Stalking Awareness Month  (United States)
Food months in the United States
This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance.
- Be Kind to Food Servers Month (by proclamation, State of Tennessee)
- California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month
- Hot Tea Month
- National Soup Month
- Oatmeal Month
Non-Gregorian observances, 2017
This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance. All Jewish observances begin on sundown of the day before the date listed and end on sundown of the day listed.
- January 8: Tenth of Tevet (Judaism, Hebrew calendar)
- January 11-13: Lenaia (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism)
- January 14: Maghe Sankranti (Vikram Samvat, Nepali Hindus)
- January 18: Feast of Sultan/Sovereignty Bahá'í calendar
- January 26: Yom Kippur Katan (Judaism, Hebrew calendar, optional observance)
- January 28: Chinese New Year (Chinese calendar)
- January 28: Hecate's Deipnon (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism)
- January 28: Korean New Year (Korean calendar)
- January 29: Noumenia (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism)
- January 29: Rosh Chodesh of Shevat (Judaism, Hebrew calendar)
- January 29: Shia day of Remembrance: Death of Harun Rashid (Islamic calendar)
Movable observances, 2017 dates
This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance. 'Sunday after Christmas: January 1
First Monday: January 2
First Sunday of the year, unless the Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, then January 2: January 2
- Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (Roman Catholicism, removed post-1969, still celebrated by some denominations) )
January 2 unless that day is a Sunday, in which case January 3: January 2
First Friday: January 6
Sunday following January 6: January 8
Monday after January 6: January 9
- Baptism of the Lord – (Western Christianity in countries where Epiphany is celebrated on January 7 or 8)
- Plough Monday (England)
Second Monday: January 9
13th of the month falling on a Friday: January 13
Friday before third Monday: January 13
Second Saturday: January 14
Third Sunday: January 15
- National Sanctity of Human Life Day (United States)
- Sinulog (Philippines, Roman Catholic)
- World Religion Day
Third full week of January: January 15-21
Third Monday: January 16
Wednesday of the third full week of January: January 18
Friday between January 19–25: January 20
Third Friday: January 20
Last week of January: January 22-28
Fourth Monday: January 23
Last Saturday: January 28
Last Sunday: January 29
January 30 or the nearest Sunday: January 29
First Week of February: January 29-February 4
Monday Closest to January 29: January 30
Last Monday in January
This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance.
- December 25 - January 5: Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
- December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa (African Americans)
- December 31-January 1, in some cases until January 2: Hogmanay (Scotland)
- January 1 (J-01)
- Feast of the Circumcision of Christ
- Constitution Day (Italy)
- Dissolution of Czechoslovakia-related observances:
- Euro Day (European Union)
- Flag Day (Lithuania)
- Founding Day (Taiwan)
- Global Family Day
- Independence Day (Brunei, Cameroon, Haiti, Sudan)
- International Nepali Dhoti and Nepali Topi Day
- Jump-up Day (Montserrat, British Overseas Territories)
- Kalpataru Day (Ramakrishna Movement)
- National Bloody Mary Day (United States)
- National Tree Planting Day (Tanzania)
- New Year's Day
- Polar Bear Swim Day (Canada and United States)
- Public Domain Day (multiple countries)
- Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Church)
- Triumph of the Revolution (Cuba)
- January 2 (J-02)
- Ancestry Day (Haiti)
- Berchtold's Day (Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and the Alsace)
- Carnival Day (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
- Happy Mew Year For Cats Day (Thomas Roy)
- Kakizome (Japan)
- National Creampuff Day (United States)
- National Science Fiction Day (United States)
- The second day of New Year (a holiday in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine)
- Nyinlong (Bhutan)
- Victory of Armed Forces Day (Cuba)
- January 3 (J-03)
- January 4 (J-04)
- January 5 (J-05)
- January 6 (J-06)
- Armed Forces Day (Iraq)
- Epiphany or Three Kings' Day (Western Christianity) or Theophany (Eastern Christianity), and its related observances:
- Pathet Lao Day (Laos)
- January 7 (J-07)
- Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches using the Julian Calendar, Rastafari)
- Distaff Day (Medieval Europe)
- Nanakusa no sekku (Japan)
- Pioneer's Day (Liberia)
- Tricolour day Italy)
- Victory from Genocide Day (Cambodia)
- January 8 (J-08)
- January 9 (J-09)
- Start of Hōonkō (Nishi Honganji) January 9–16 (Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism)
- Martyrs' Day (Panama)
- National Cassoulet Day (United States)
- Non-Resident Indian Day (India)
- Peace Agreement Day (South Sudan)
- Republic Day (Republika Srpska) (defunct, declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- St. Stephen's Day (Eastern Orthodox)
- January 10 (J-10)
- January 11 (J-11)
- January 12 (J-12)
- January 13 (J-13)
- Constitution Day (Mongolia)
- Democracy Day (Cape Verde)
- Korean-American Day (Korean-American community, United States)
- Liberation Day (Togo)
- Old New Year's Eve (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska, Republic of Macedonia), and its related observances:
- St. Knut's Day (Sweden and Finland)
- Stephen Foster Memorial Day (United States)
- January 14 (J-14)
- Azhyrnykhua (Abkhazia)
- Day of Defenders of the Motherland (Uzbekistan)
- Feast of Divina Pastora (Barquisimeto)
- Feast of the Ass (Medieval Christianity)
- Flag Day (Georgia)
- National Forest Conservation Day (Thailand)
- Ratification Day (United States)
- Revolution and Youth Day (Tunisia)
- Yennayer (Berbers)
- January 15 (J-15)
- January 16 (J-16)
- January 17 (J-17)
- January 18 (J-18)
- January 19 (J-19)
- Confederate Heroes Day (Texas), and its related observance:
- Kokborok Day (Tripura, India)
- National Popcorn Day (United States)
- Theophany / Epiphany (Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy), and its related observances:
- January 20 (J-20)
- January 21 (J-21)
- January 22 (J-22)
- January 23 (J-23)
- January 24 (J-24)
- January 25 (J-25)
- 2011 Revolution Day (Egypt)
- A Room of One’s Own Day
- Burns night (Scotland, Scottish community)
- Dydd Santes Dwynwen (Wales)
- Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, which concludes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity)
- National Police Day (Egypt)
- National Voters' Day (India)
- Tatiana Day (Russia, Eastern Orthodox)
- January 26 (J-26)
- January 27 (J-27)
- Day of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad (Russia)
- Liberation of the remaining inmates of Auschwitz-related observances:
- Holocaust Memorial Day (UK)
- Holocaust Remembrance Day (Sweden)
- International Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Memorial Day (Italy)
- Memorial Day for the Victims of the Holocaust and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity (Czech Republic)
- Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism (Germany)
- National Holocaust Memorial Day (Greece)
- Family Literacy Day (Canada)
- Feast of Saint Slava (Serbia)
- National Chocolate Cake Day (United States)
- Saint Devota's Day (Monaco)
- January 28 (J-28)
- January 29 (J-29)
- January 30 (J-30)
- Day of Azerbaijani customs (Azerbaijan)
- Day of Saudade (Brazil)
- Fred Korematsu Day (California, United States)
- Martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi-related observances:
- National Inane Answering Message Day (United States)
- Teacher's Day (Greece)
- January 31 (J-31)
- H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981), p. 51.
- Stabej, Jože (1966). "Ob petstoletnici škofjeloškega zapisa slovenskih imen za mesece" [On the 500th Anniversary of the Škofja Loka Recording of Slovene Month Names]. Loški razgledi (in Slovenian). Muzejsko društvo Škofja Loka [Museum Society of Škofja Loka]. 13. ISSN 0459-8210.
- The History of Rome, volume 4, The Revolution, ISBN 1-4353-4597-5, page 4
- "January Birth Flower : Flower Meaning". birthflowersguide.com.
- "January National Codependency Awareness Month". Diane Jellen.
- "January is National Healthy Weight Awareness Month : Importance of Physical Fitness". usphs.gov.
- "Presidential Proclamation--Stalking Awareness Month". whitehouse.gov.
- Chase's Calendar of Events 2013. The McGraw-Hill Companies. 2013. ISBN 9780071813334.
- "JANUARY 2009, AS "CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM DIGESTIVE HEALTH MONTH"". Office of the Governor, State of California. November 20, 2008.
- Hirsch, J. M. (August 18, 2004). "Food turns eating into stream of holidays". Associated Press via Kentucky New Era.
- Rem, Kathryn (March 9, 2010). "Yesterday was National Crabmeat Day and you missed it". The State Journal-Register.
- Gavilan, Jessica (February 7, 2006). "Mark your calendar". The Gainesville Sun.
- "The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared unconstitutional the day of RS". b92.net. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
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