Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

We’ve certainly seen 2016 go out with a bang, but now that the last echoes of the fireworks from the Year End celebrations die away, we must fortify ourselves for the long winter months still to come before the first crocuses poke through the ground.

So working on the premise of know thine enemy, here are a few bits of trivia to add to your cocktail banter, and perhaps generate a smile or two.

It’s amazing how far-reaching the Romans are two thousand years after their society’s high point. All of the months of the year, not to mention all of the days of the week names have been influenced by or connected to Roman roots.

January is named for Janus and has its beginnings in Roman mythology, where the Latin word for door (ianua) comes from – January is the door to the year. Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months, totaling 304 days, winter being considered a monthless period (no kidding?). Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, allowing the calendar to equal a standard lunar year (355 days). The first day of the month is known as New Year’s Day. (Wikipedia)

Here are a few bright spots to light up a dull month:

  • January 1 – My tax calculator starts all over again. Happy New Year Revenue Canada! I look forward to Tax Freedom Day (it was June 7th last year).
  • January 8 – Elvis Presley’s birthday – the old hound dog still wants to be your teddy bear.
  • January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States – third Monday in January.
  • January 26 – India celebrates its 68th Republic Day when the Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950.
  • January 12 – Thank God It’s Monday Day: you’ve got to be kidding!
    • January 18 – Winnie the Pooh Day (What about Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet Day?)
  • January 20 – Donald Trump sworn in (or at) as 45th US President
    • January 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day (pay attention!)
  • January 27 – National Toilet Day – you can feel flushed with pride!

 According to Environment Canada, we may have a harsher winter than most years, so here are a few warm fuzzy thoughts to help make the month a little more bearable.

  • “For all you January over-feds understand that dieting is a weigh of life!” – unknown
    • “A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water” – Carl Reiner
    • “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” Lewis Carroll. Okay fella lay back down the rabbit hole with you!
  • “There are two seasons in Saskatchewan: Winter and two months of poor sledding” – Big Bobby Clobber
  • “Winter is the season when people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat” – anonymous
    • “I love the Mediterranean for the fact that winter is over in a minute, and the almond blossom arrives in January.” Jade Jagger
  • “To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring” – W.J. Vogel

So you have two options: endure the month, or decide you’ll find the positive and feel a whole lot better. To help with that I offer you with cheerful thought: From January 1 you only have 171 days to go until Summer happens (yay! whoopee!) on June 20 9:24 PDT.

Stand-by with the sunscreen my friends.