Seasonal Advice for January: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore

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!

January is here,
With eyes that keenly glow—
A frost-mailed warrior striding
A shadowy steed of snow.

—Edgar Fawcett


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.

January 1 is New Year's Day. While you're still recuperating from last night's parties, read about some other new year's traditions you might not know about.

Twelfth Night, the eve of January 5, is in 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.

Epiphany falls on January 6. 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 traditional King Cake with a lucky bean inside!

January 19 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. Thanks for everything Ben!

Recipes for the Season

To bring in the new year properly, try our New Year's Day Punch.

Also, stay warm with these delicious dishes:
Italian Vegetable Soup
Bonnie's Winter Stew

For more recipes, use our Recipe Search.


In January, we dream about next year's garden.

Find inspiration, ideas, and free plot plans in our garden planning and design center!

Browse our list of annuals and perennials to start indoors so you can plan accordingly.


Everyday Advice

Relieve your dry skin with some homemade remedies.

See our tips on how to stay warm this winter.

For many of us, January's a month of 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.

Sky Watch

In January 2015, the full Moon rises on the 4th. Learn more about the full Wolf Moon here.

Look up! The dark January skies are great for stargazing. Get the highlights in our January Sky Watch.


Folklore and More

  • 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.
  • January's birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel.


Add new comment

I'd like to know what to look

I'd like to know what to look under to see what days of each month thats good to cut hair so it will grow.

See our Best Days timetable

See our Best Days timetable for best days to cut hair to encourage growth here:

How do I find the sign, like

How do I find the sign, like when it is in head, feet, etc?

Kathy, See our Man of the

Kathy, See our Man of the Signs here:
Find more information in the annual printed edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac.

If inanimate objects are

If inanimate objects are immune to wind chill, then why do bridges freeze over easier than the pavement that is over earth

The bridge freezes before the

The bridge freezes before the road because of what is called thermal inertia. The ground under the road constitutes a large mass that does not cool as fast as the air surrounding the bridge.

Ok - here is what I was told

Ok - here is what I was told when I asked my geology prof in college that same question. Because while in the summer pavement is a source of radiant heat, in the winter when you get below the frost line the ground is still above freezing. It holds heat better than asphalt or concrete because it is thicker. That is also why the ground around culverts freezes quicker. (:

Actually, bridges are not

Actually, bridges are not inanimate. They are build to give, move when they bare weight. They are also usually either over a pocket of air, or body of water and that would also add to their ability to freeze. Also, Water freezes on any surface it lands on.