Monday, December 31, 2012

January Folklore & Facts

January is a month filled with folklore. Here are a few samples of the folk wisdom based upon communal beliefs and traditions and facts that has been generated and shared from one generation to the next:

 Mythology:The name January comes from the Latin word Januarius, and is considered the month of Roman god Janus. This mythical hero and first king of Latium (where the city of Rome was founded) was gracious to Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture who had been expelled from Heaven. Folklore has it that in thanks, Saturn taught the people of Latium how to cultivate land and gave Janus the ability to see both the past and the future. This is why he is always portrayed as a man with two faces – one that looks into the past and one that looks into the future.

Weather Lore: 
== A wet January, a wet spring. 
== If grass does grow in January, it will barely grow for the rest of the year. 
== On average, January has 31 of the coldest days and nights in the Northern Hemisphere.

January 6th Religious Customs: 
== Epiphany: This Christian feast day is designed to honor the revelation of God as he appears human through the embodiment of Jesus Christ. Western Christians celebrate the day that the Biblical Magi visited the baby Jesus while Eastern Christians celebrate the baptism of the baby Jesus in the Jordan River. Epiphany is celebrated in numerous countries, including Ireland, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Spain, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and others. 
== Coptic Christmas Day celebrated by the Coptic Church, a very small branch of the Catholic Church that follows an older calendar. Until the Pope of Rome changed the date in 1581, Christmas was observed on January 4th.  The date shifted slightly for several years following until finally, in the late 1800’s, the Western Christians settled on December 25th.

 January, a month of national recognition: 
== National Thank You Month
== National Soup Month
== National Staying Healthy Month
== National Blood Donor Month
== National Braille Literacy Month
January folk art exhibit:
The American Folk Art Museum offers tours of its exhibition Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions which celebrates New York City’s harbor-related folk art at the South Street Seaport Museum each Wednesday through January 30.

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