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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley


Hello everyone, I truly pray your Holiday season was all you hoped it would be. Now that we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years behind us. Let’s start this 2023 year with new hopes and dreams. Be kind to each other, be respectful to others.

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is also the first of seven months to have a 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.

January's birthstone is the garnet, which represents constancy. Its birth flower is the cottage pink Dianthus caryophyllus or Galanthus as well as the traditional carnation. The Japanese floral emblem of January is the Camellia. 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 zodiac signs for the month of January are Capricorn (until January 19) and Aquarius (January 20 onwards). The name of the full moon occurring in January is the wolf moon.

Known for recaps and resolutions, each new year often starts with retrospection and the month of January. What does January mean? January, as we know, is the first month of the year and contains 31 days. The term originated before the year 1000 from Middle English, ultimately deriving from the Latin noun use of Jānuārius, equivalent to Jānus. Who was Janus? In ancient Roman culture, Jānus was a god of doorways, beginnings, and the rising and setting of the sun. His name comes from the Latin jānus, meaning “doorway, archway, arcade.” Fun fact: the closely related Latin word jānua, meaning “door, doorway, entrance,” ultimately gives us the word janitor, which originally referred to a door attendant or porter before evolving to its more familiar sense of “custodian.”

There were many gateways in Rome where ceremonial entrances and exits were made, especially for the departure of the army on an expedition. As the god of transitions, Janus is often depicted with two, bearded heads that face in opposite directions, looking to both the future and the past. After 153 BCE, January (mensis Januarius in Latin) became the first month of the Roman calendar (which we adopted), the figure of Janus a perfect symbol for new beginnings.

This ancient deity Janus has found his way into modern English in more ways than one. And as you might expect, his other lexical contributions are not entirely straightforward. The versatile word Janus-faced can refer to someone or something’s capricious or seemingly contradictory nature. Or it can be used with a more negative undertone to describe someone as deceitful and, well, two-faced.

The two faces of Janus are also evident in the term Janus word, “a word that has opposite or nearly opposite meanings,” such as cleave and dust. (These are also called contronyms.) To cleave something can mean to adhere closely to that thing, but it can also mean its opposite: to split, divide, or cut off. As a verb, dust can refer to the removal of dust, or the addition of it. (Think dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar.) Duality is embedded into all of Janus’s words, including the very language we use to talk about the beginning of the calendar year: January.

Useless Facts:

1. The name for January comes from the Roman god, Janus, who is always depicted with two heads. He uses one head to look back on the year before, and the other head to look forward into the New Year!

2. Oddly enough, couples tend to separate or divorce more so in January than any other month of the year.

3. In Pasadena, California, there has been a Rose Parade held every year since 1890. It has since been broadcasted worldwide and is typically viewed in over 100 countries around the globe.

4. If you were born in January, your birthstone is a garnet!

5. In leap years, January always starts on the same day as April and July.

6. London is famous for its extensive subway system, nicknamed “The Tube.” This makes sense because they’re also responsible for opening the first operational underground railway on January 10, 1863.

7. Some historical names for January include “Wulfmonath,” which came from the Anglo-Saxons because it was the month hungry wolves would come scavenging. King Charlemagne would call it “Wintermanoth” meaning “winter/cold month.”

8. Originally, the Roman calendar had only 10 months, and it excluded January and February.

9. King Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, is responsible for adding both January and February to the Roman calendar. He did this so calendars would be equivalent to a lunar year. Even so, it only had 30 days.

10. Finally, Julius Caesar added the 31st day to the month and completed it to the full month of January we practice now!

11. January was a monumental year for Alaska! As of January 3, 1959, Alaska officially became the 49th state of the United States.

12. Generally, January is the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

13. The equivalent month of January in terms of temperature in the Southern Hemisphere is July!

14. Referring back to the Julian and Gregorian calendars, January is the first month of the year, and the first of seven months to be 31 days long.

15. In the United Kingdom, some people practice “Dry January.” This is a movement to encourage people to quit drinking alcohol for the month in order to encourage public health.

Local Events:

1. Speedway In Lights Nov. 18th to Jan. 7th

2. 4th Annual Freeze Out Jan 14th 12pm Cade Cove Jeep Outpost

3. Bikers & Bowling Jan. 20th at Holiday Lanes - Johnson City, TN 6pm – 9pm


1. Gibtown Bike Fest Jan. 6th -8th Riverview FL.

2. Mecum Motorcycle Auction Jan.4th – 15th Kissimmee FL.


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