Welcome back, everyone! How are you doing? I hope you are ready for today’s quiz. This time we are going to talk about the first month of the year, which is January. Do you think you know a lot about this month? Let us dive in and find out.
January is the first month of the year in the Julian and the Gregorian calendar. It is the first of the seventh months to be 31 days long. January is a winter month in the northern half of the world and a summer month in the southern half. The name of this month comes from the ancient Roman god of passage and new beginnings, Janus (or Ianus). The Anglo-Saxons called the first month Wolf monath because wolves came into the villages during winter searching for food.
The old Roman calendar only had ten months, and it did not include January and February. They were added around the year 700 BCE by the Roman king Numa Pompilius. January originally had 29 days and came after December. However, as the result of later reforms, it was made the first month of the year. In the Julian calendar, January was expanded to 31 days.
According to tradition, the birthstone for January is the garnet, which represents constancy and steadiness. Its birth flowers are the cottage pink and the snowdrop. The Zodiac signs in January are Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn season lasts from December 22nd to January 19th, and Aquarius lasts from January 20th to February 18th.
Did you know January was not only a month? It is also part of the name of a certain famous city in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro means River of January.
The first day of January is known as New Year’s Day – at least in the Gregorian calendar. Many cultures celebrate the new year on other dates. New Year’s Day is the time for new beginnings and wishing for a good year ahead. People celebrate and have parties on the day before the new year, called New Year’s Eve. It was an old custom to open the door of the house at the last stroke of midnight to allow the former year out and let the new one in.
It is said in many cultures that the first person to walk through the door after midnight on New Year’s can bring good luck to the house. Old European tradition said that the person should be a man with dark hair. The person should bring various household items to bless the household. Traditional items were coal, salt, and bread. The coal was to make sure the house would always be warm; the salt would bring wealth; the bread was to make sure everyone in the house would have enough to eat.
In some places, it is traditional to share a kiss with someone you love after midnight. This tradition may be Germanic in origin; in old German customs, greeting the New Year with a kiss guaranteed a year full of love and adoration.
May countries have their own New Year traditions and superstitions. In Latin American countries, the color of underwear you wear on New Year’s can change your future. Yellow underwear is supposed to bring good fortune, red – brings love, and white – peace. Multiple Latin American cultures have the ritual of cleaning the house on New Year’s. It is supposed to bring in good luck and prosperity and get out all that is old and bad.
In France, the tradition is to kiss under the mistletoe on New Year’s. Also, the French believe the weather on New Year’s indicates how the rest of the year will go. The Danish people mark the New Year by leaping over the doorstep. They are literally jumping into the new year!
The month of January has a bit of a bad reputation. It is usually rather cold if not freezing, the days are still short. January usually reminds people about their New Years’ resolutions. And we know how hard it can get to stick to those! At the beginning of the month, we still have Christmas and New Years’ Eve parties on our minds while everyday life goes on. All in all, January can be a tough month.
There are a lot of quirky and fun facts about January though. You might or might not know about them. Maybe you went down the January trivia rabbit hole one day, or maybe you have a friend who is obsessed with learning random facts.
Either way, why not spend one of those chilly, unpleasant January evenings learning fun new stuff? Have a go at those questions related to January and see how many you can get right. Don’t forget to forward the quiz link to your friends – surely they will want to try too!
How many questions are in this quiz?
There are 20 questions in this quiz.
How many points can I get in this quiz?
You can get up to 20 points.
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