As we usher in the New Year, January stands as a symbol of fresh beginnings and renewed aspirations. The month holds the promise of a blank canvas, embarking on some New Year’s Resolutions, such as self-improvement, discovery and purposeful living.
However, there is more to January than just new beginnings.
January was established as the first month of the year by the Roman calendar. It was named after the god Janus (the Latin word for door). 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.
In the very earliest Roman Calendars, there were no months of January or February at all. The ancient Roman calendar had only ten months and the new year started the year on 1st March. To the Romans, ten was a very important number. Even when January was added, the New Year continued to start in March. It remained so in England and her colonies until about 200 years ago!
January regularly produces frost, ice and snow and is the chilliest month of the year in Britain. St Hilary’s feast day on 13th January has gained the reputation of being the coldest day of the year due to past cold events starting on or around this date.
January is generous with plenty of fascinating festivities and National Days to keep you entertained.
Kicking off with both Veganuary and Dry January, both offering up credentials for a sure-fire way to stay healthy and burn off some of those excess pounds, possibly gained from overindulgence during the mince pie and Christmas pudding eating season!
Delving a little deeper into the month, there’s National Shortbread Day on 6th, National Cheese Lovers Day on 20th and Burn’s Night on 25th.
Don’t be put off by Blue Monday on 15th January.
The day was coined as this time of year is considered depressing after overindulging at Christmas time and feeling guilty about not sticking to new year resolutions. It also feels like payday is a long way away!
So, the big question, are New Year’s Resolutions worth setting?
There are a lot of varying percentages when it comes to averaging the number of people that are successful in achieving their New Year Resolutions.
Generally speaking, most people don’t achieve their resolutions and often, most fail before they start. It’s an unfortunate statistic but does this mean that New Year’s Resolutions are not worth it? When setting personal resolutions, studies show that those set within a collaborative working environment where others can help hold one accountable will have a greater success rate than those just setting personal resolutions to achieve on their own.
So perhaps you need to get a gym buddy, write down realistic goals, or listen to motivational podcasts to keep your goals on track, then you’ll have more chance of sticking to them! You could also try creating incentives for yourself, do something to make the tasks or goals more fun and remember it’s not always about the overall outcome but the process of achieving something!
Some other useful things to know about January…
What British foods are in season in January?
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, Turnips, White Cabbage.
Carnations and snowdrops are the two birth flowers most associated with January.
What is the birthstone for January?
Garnet is the most widely accepted birthstone for January. Garnet is the traditional as well as the modern January birthstone. Garnet was also consistently designated as the gemstone for January in the ancient Roman, Italian, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and old Hindu (Ayurvedic) calendars.