Welcome January 2017 and the new year! Enjoy our January page with important holidays, seasonal, recipes, gardening tips, Moon dates, folklore, and more.
The new year opens—old is past,
Stern winter comes with its rough blast:
See the farmer shivering with cold,
Driving his flocks and herds to fold.
—The 1793 Old Farmer’s Almanac
JANUARY rings in the new year. May we all look back to count our blessings and look forward to good weather, good plantings, good health, and new beginnings in 2017!
January is named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future.
January was originally the eleventh month, not the first, until at least 153 B.C.
The eve of January 5 brings Twelfth Night, an English folk custom the end of Christmas merrymaking, and in ancient Celtic tradition the end of the 12-day winter solstice celebration. On Twelfth Night, it was customary for the assembled company to toast each other from the wassail bowl.
On January 6 falls Epiphany. According to the New Testament’s Gospels, on this date the Magi, the three wise men or kings, venerated and brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Bake a King Cake with a lucky bean inside!
January 16 is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (observed) this year and honors the principles of this civil rights leader and Nobel Prize Winner dedicated to nonviolence.
On the 17th is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. He was not only was a world-renowned statesman, inventor, and scientist, but also was fascinated by agriculture. Here at the OFA, we consider him the father of almanacs. See how much you know about Ben.
Recipes for the Season
In the month of January, stay warm and cozy with soups and stews!
Ready to start a garden? Grow some deliciously fresh food right in your backyard?
It’s easy and fun to lay out your garden with the Almanac Garden Planner.
For 7 days, you can try the Garden Planner for free.
- Relieve your dry skin with some homemade remedies.
- See our tips on how to stay warm this winter.
- Got snow? See our snowflake guide and find out if two snowflakes can be alike!
- Are you a cold-weather angler? Check out our ice fishing tips to make it a safe and enjoyable trip.
- Refresh your knowledge of winter weather terms to help keep you safe this winter.
January’s full Moon, the Full Wolf Moon, occurs on the 12th, at 6:34 a.m. EST. Read about the full Wolf Moon here!
January Birthstone and Flower
- January’s birth flower is the carnation or snowdrop. Read more about January’s birth flowers.
- January’s birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel. Learn more about January’s birthstone.
- Fog in January brings a wet spring.
- A favorable January brings us a good year.
- If grass grows in January, it will grow badly the whole year.
- A summerish January,
a winterish spring.