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Facts, Folklore, and Fun: January 2014

December 30, 2013

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The new year is almost here! January 1, the start of 2014, is this Wednesday, and we are preparing for the first month of the year by taking a look at the entries in the The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2014 Engagement Calendar!

Facts, Folklore, and Fun: January 2014

Happy Birthday, Capricorn! (December 22–January 19)
Capricorns are considered ambitious, patient, and prudent. Dedicated and hardworking, they make natural leaders.

Handsel Monday
According to Scottish custom, the first Monday of the new year (January 6 this year) was the time to give children and servants a small gift (handsel), intended to bring good luck. The handsel was popular as a new year’s gift from the 14th to 19th centuries, but it also had the broader application of marking a new situation. It continues today in the form of presenting a housewarming gift to someone moving into a new home.


Pagophobia is the fear of frost or ice.

Benjamin Franklin invented an odometer and swim fins.

On January 23, 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members.


A warm January, a cold May.

A double-yolk egg is a sign of an impending marriage.

When wrens are seen in winter, expect snow.


If you bruise easily, add more vitamin C to your diet.

Chapped lips? Dab on coconut oil on your parched pucker.

Remove chewing gum from clothing by rubbing it with warm vinegar.


The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
–Lucille Ball, American Actress (1911–89)

Q: What two words have the most letters?
A: Post Office

Truth and oil always come to the surface. –Spanish proverb

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