The Month of January
January is the first month of the year, has 31 days, and is named after the two-faced Roman god Janus.
January Is Janus’ Month
January is named after the Roman god of doors, Janus, because this month is the door to the year. Janus represents all beginnings and possesses the ability to see all things past and future.
- Middle English - Januarie
- Latin name - Ianuarius
- French - Janvier
- Saxon - Wulf-monath - wolf month
History of January
The months of January and February did not feature in earlier versions of the Roman calendar, which divided the year into 10 months and left 61 days unaccounted for in the winter. They were added around 700 BCE.
January and February were initially the last months of the calendar year, which began in March (Martius). However, in 450 BCE, the beginning of the year was moved to January 1.
January originally consisted of 30 days when it was added to the 10-month Roman calendar. However, a day was added making it 31 days long in 46 BCE by Julius Caesar.
January is considered the coldest month of the year in most of the Northern Hemisphere and the warmest month of the year in most of the Southern Hemisphere.
January starts on the same day of the week as October and ends on the same day of the week as February and October in common years. During leap years, January starts on the same day of the week as April and July, and ends on the same day of the week as July.
Birth Flower and Stone
January's birth flower is the Dianthus caryophyllus or Galanthus.
The birthstone for January is the garnet which symbolizes constancy.