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Jan
1
Fri
New Year’s Day
Jan 1 all-day

The year in the Roman calendar naturally starts on March 1. After all, the words September, October, November, and December literally mean Seventh Month, Eighth Month, Ninth Month, and Tenth Month, respectively.

Keeping track of the passage of years was primarily the concern of those keeping historical records. Ordinary people were not particularly concerned with long-scale time reckoning. In many ancient cultures historical events were dated in regnal years, i.e., using a time reckoning system starting with the anniversary of a sovereign’s accession or coronation. Under this system, the first day of the new year is the anniversary of the king’s or pope’s accession, i.e., the new year’s day would change with every new ruler.

In most cultures, new year’s day was not a cause for celebration for its own sake. People may have celebrated the anniversary of the king’s ascension or some religious feast, and the fact that these were used in time reckoning as dividing points between two consecutive years was quite secondary. In medieval Europe, March 25 (the Annunciation) was probably the most widespread new year’s day but the practice was far from universal. For instance, Rome used December 25 while Florence used March 25.

January 1 became new year’s day gradually from the 14th to the beginning of the 19th century.

Jan
3
Sun
Quadrantid Meteor Shower.
Jan 3 all-day
Jan
9
Sat
Moon at Perigee (15:39 MST).
Jan 9 all-day
Jan
10
Sun
Mercury 1.6° of Saturn.
Jan 10 all-day
Jan
11
Mon
Mercury 1.4° of Jupiter.
Jan 11 all-day
Venus 1.5°N of Moon (20:12 MST).
Jan 11 all-day
Jan
12
Tue
New Moon (05:00 MST).
Jan 12 all-day

New Moon

By the modern definition, New Moon occurs when the Moon and Sun are at the same geocentric ecliptic longitude. The part of the Moon facing us is completely in shadow then. Pictured here is the traditional New Moon, the earliest visible waxing crescent, which signals the start of a new month in many lunar and lunisolar calendars.

Moon overview on solarsystem.nasa.gov

Jan
18
Mon
Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Jan 18 all-day

Portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. Credit: Nobel Foundation

“Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.” – Wikipedia

Jan
20
Wed
M. Watson Whitney died, 1921 (b. 1847).
Jan 20 all-day