Holidays and Observances in January

National days to celebrate this month

observances in January

The Spruce / Margot Cavin 

New Year's Day is just the first of many special days and observances in January. There are plenty of other days that can provide you with ideas for learning and fun to share with your child or students. For example, it's International Creativity Month, so together you can explore and enjoy indoor activities that celebrate everything from letter writing and puzzles to dragons and kazoos. January is a prime time to learn about important people in history, such as Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Some observances focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle. You may find related activities planned by community centers, schools, or health care organizations related to these specific topics. On other days, you can celebrate with comfort foods, such as chocolate and bagels. Have fun celebrating the Chinese New Year, which is a long holiday filled with daily cultural traditions including feasts of symbolic foods and exchanging monetary gifts in auspicious red envelopes.

Here are all the official and unofficial days to celebrate this month.

January Daily Holidays and Observances

  • January 1: New Year's Day, National Hangover Day
  • January 2: National Science Fiction Day
  • January 3: J.R.R. Tolkien Day, Festival of Sleep Day, Humiliation Day
  • January 4: Trivia Day, National Spaghetti Day, Fruitcake Toss Day* (first Saturday)
  • January 5: National Bird Day
  • January 6: Sherlock Holmes' Birthday, Cuddle Up Day, Bean Day
  • January 7: National Old Rock Day
  • January 8: Bubble Bath Day, National Take the Stairs Day* (second Wednesday)
  • January 9: National Static Electricity Day, National Word Nerd Day
  • January 10: Peculiar People Day, Houseplant Appreciation Day, National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • January 11: Amelia Earhart Day 
  • January 12: National Pharmacist Day, National Hot Tea Day
  • January 13: Make Your Dream Come True Day, National Rubber Ducky Day
  • January 14: Ratification Day (Treaty of Paris), National Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • January 15: Strawberry Ice Cream Day, National Hat Day, National Bagel Day
  • January 16: Appreciate a Dragon Day, National Nothing Day
  • January 17: Benjamin Franklin Day, Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day
  • January 18: Thesaurus Day, Winnie the Pooh Day
  • January 19: National Popcorn Day, National Tin Can Day
  • January 20: Inauguration Day* (21st if the 20th is a Sunday, each year after a presidential election), Martin Luther King Jr. Day* (third Monday), National Cheese Lovers Day, Penguin Awareness Day
  • January 21: National Hugging Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day
  • January 22: National Blonde Brownie Day
  • January 23: National Handwriting Day, National Pie Day
  • January 24: National Compliment Day, Clashing Clothes Day* (fourth Thursday), Belly Laugh Day
  • January 25: Chinese New Year* (date varies), National Seed Swap Day* (last Saturday), Opposite Day
  • January 26: Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement, Spouse's Day
  • January 27: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day* (last Monday), National Chocolate Cake Day, Punch the Clock Day
  • January 28: National Kazoo Day, Data Privacy Day
  • January 29: National Puzzle Day, National Corn Chip Day
  • January 30: Draw a Dinosaur Day, National Fun at Work Day* (last Friday)

Crossing Into January

January is named after Janus, the ancient Roman god of gates and doors symbolizing endings, beginnings, and transitions. He's also depicted with two heads; one head looking at the past, the other at the future.

January Weekly Holidays and Observances

  • Diet Resolutions Week (first week)
  • Someday We'll Laugh About This Week (2-8)
  • Universal Letter Writing Week (second week)
  • Folic Acid Awareness Week (second week)
  • Pizza Week (starts on the first Sunday of the month)
  • Sugar Awareness Week (third week)
  • Healthy Weight Week (third week)
  • No Name Calling Week* (mid-January, varies)
  • Hot Air Balloon Week (fourth week)
  • National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (fourth week)
  • Junior Achievement Week (fourth week)
  • School Choice Week (last week)

January Monthly Holidays and Observances

  • Cervical Health Awareness Month
  • High-Tech Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • International Creativity Month
  • It's Okay to Be Different Month
  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Birth Defects Prevention Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Get Organized Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • National Mentoring Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month
  • National Stalking Awareness Month
  • National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month
  • Reaching Your Potential Month
  • Reference Book Month
  • Thyroid Awareness Month

*Denotes that date changes each year.