Who doesn't love the start of a new year and especially a new decade?!?! It's a time to be hopeful for the beginning of things to come. Plus once you start a new calendar, it always seems to be closer to Spring because you start seeing the names of the upcoming months. Once you get through November and December the warmer weather doesn't seem as far off, even though Chicago has been known to have a snowstorm or two in April! A fresh calendar also encourages us to fill in the blanks with ambitious projects for both home and personal improvement.
Anyway, here are some January facts that you just may not know:
This month is named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is shown with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future. Julius Caesar thought January was fitting for the first day of the year, since Janus symbolizes new beginnings. January’s birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel. Garnets form in layers of rock deep underground where they withstand extreme temperature variations. Geologists study garnets to understand the effects of temperature and pressure on surrounding rocks. Although the garnet is commonly associated with a range of red hues, it also sometimes forms in other colors, including greens, yellows, and even blues. The word “garnet” is derived from a term that means “seed,” because the gem resembles the color and shape of a pomegranate seed.
January’s birth flower is the carnation. It comes in several different colors, which convey different meanings, much like roses. For example, a pink carnation can mean simple affection, while a dark red carnation means deeper love, and white is for innocence and remembrance.
The two zodiac signs associated with January are Capricorn and Aquarius.
-Capricorns are those born from December 22 until January 19 - It is one of the zodiac's most energetic and hardworking of signs. Those born under this sign are sure to always reach towards great achievement.
-Aquarius - Those born from January 20 to February 18. One can identify an Aquarius by the originality that dominates all aspects of their life.
Some dates celebrated in January are:
-January 3-4 The Quadrantid meteor shower will be exceptional this year, reaching its peak in the early predawn hours of Saturday, January 4. Expect to see approximately 25 meteors per hour flash in the sky, or up to 100 per hour at the shower’s maximum. Thankfully, the Moon will play along and set well before dawn that night, leaving us with perfect viewing conditions for a meteor shower.
-January 6 is Epiphany. According to the New Testament’s Gospels, on this date the Magi—the three wise men or kings—venerated and brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Bake a King cake with a lucky bean inside!
-January 20 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This holiday is held on the third Monday in January and honors the principles of this civil rights leader and Nobel Prize Winner dedicated to nonviolence.
-January 25 is the Chinese New Year in 2020! This festival is celebrated on the second new Moon after the winter solstice. Chinese New Year is marked by fireworks, traditional lion dances, gift giving, and special foods. It is the Year of the Rat!
Here are some unusual celebrations in January:
-01/02 National Cream Puff Day
-01/03 National Fruitcake Toss Day
-01/21 Squirrel Appreciation Day (exactly what are we appreciating them for???)
-01/24 National Peanut Butter Day (do you know there is a PB-flavored whiskey? I can’t even imagine that taste, but people claim it’s good)
-01/27 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
And the list goes on…
We hope that 2020 is your best year yet!
Source: Excerpts from The Old Farmers' Almanac