Happy New Year’s Day! January was named for the Roman god Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings.
Janus looks simultaneously to the future and the past, a fitting symbol for this first day of the year. It’s natural for us to reflect on the past year and also look forward to the new. The weather of the first 12 days of the year is said to be indicative of the following 12 months. Also, Janus was known as the protector of gates and doorways, bridges, and passageways, which also symbolize beginnings and ends.
Interesting, January was originally the 11th month, not the 1st, until at least 153 B.C. In Rome, this month was often a time of peace when the gates of the temple were closed. Only when the gates were open was Rome at war.
Janus am I; oldest of potentates!
Forward I look and backward.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow