January, the first month of the year, was named in honor of the Roman god, Janus. Janus was a god who had two faces. He could look both into the past and into the future. His name derives from the Latin word janua, or gate. Romans prayed to him especially at times of war. Originally the months of January and February were added to the end of a ten-month year. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar made January the first month of the year. The snowdrop is often associated with January because it blooms early. The carnation can be January’s flower as well. The garnet is the gem for January.
National Soup Month honors one of America’s comfort foods. Children could make some soup and share it at lunch.
National Oatmeal Month honors the cereal that is both healthy and delicious. Children could make and eat oatmeal cookies one cold day.
New Year’s Day is January 1.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been observed on the third Monday in January since 1986. This year January 16 honors Martin Luther King, Jr.
Plough Day is celebrated in England the first Monday after Twelfth Day. Farmers return to their fields after the Christmas holiday. Chinese New Year begins January 22 and ends February 1.