January is the first month of the modern-day Gregorian calendar. There are 31 days in the month of January, and every year, we celebrate the New Year on January 1st! The month of January got its name from the Roman God, Janus. Janus had two faces, and he could see the past and the future. He was also the God of doors. Previously, the month of January was not the first month of the calendar. The year used to begin in March, and later January and February were added. However, in 450 BCE, the beginning of the year was moved to January 1st. Initially, there were 30 days in January when the 10-month Roman calendar was introduced, but in 46 BCE, Julius Caesar's astronomers added a day while introducing the concept of Leap Years. January is considered the coldest month of the year in most of the Northern Hemisphere and the warmest month of the year in most of the Southern Hemisphere. The full moon of January is known as the Wolf Moon. The birthstone for January is the garnet symbolizing constancy, while January's birth flowers are carnations and snowdrops. January first is New Year's Day, which is always exciting, but why is it the start of the calendar? Has it always been that way?
Students will learn how we arrived at our current calendar, as well as explore some of the historical events and awareness campaigns that take place in the first month of the year. Activities include reading brief passages and answering multiple choice and short-answer questions about the material. When you look below you will find worksheets, that you can print, that themed all around events or celebrations that take place in the month of January. Fun Fact: The famous New Year's Eve "ball drop" in New York City's Times Square was first held in 1907.