from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Historic anniversaries
December · January · February
1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th
8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th
15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st
22nd 23 24 25th 26th 27 28
29 30th 31
Names for January
Regional: January
earlier: Jenner, Hartung, hard month, hard moon, ice month, ice moon, lass month, wolf month, winter month
Lat.  Nom .: Ianuarius / Januarius / Mensis Januarius
Lat.  Gene. : Ianuarii / Januarii / Mensis Januarii
Ianuarij / Januarij
Ianuary / January /
Janus statue

The January ( Latin mensis Januarius ), in parts of the Upper German-speaking countries also and in Austria and South Tyrol almost exclusively of January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian and Julian calendar . He has 31 days . Outdated forms of name are Hartung, hard month, snow month, ice moon, winter month or wolf month .

January, by Leandro Bassano , 1595/1600

It is named after the Roman god Janus , who is represented with two faces. He is considered the god of the beginning and the end, of entrances and exits, of doors and gates. In the year of office of the Roman calendar , Januarius was originally the eleventh month and had 29 days. With the change of the year beginning from March 1 to January 1 in the year v 153rd Chr. The Ianuarius for the first month of the calendar was. After Caesar's calendar reform , the Julian calendar began in 45 BC. By inserting two additional days, the month is extended to 31 days. Under Emperor Commodus , the month was renamed Amazonius , but after the emperor's death it got its old name back.

Since then, January always begins on the same day of the week as May of the previous year. In leap years also with the same weekday as April and July of the same year, otherwise as October (see Doomsday method ).

Which week counts as the first calendar week of the new year depends on the weekday of January 1st. If it falls on Monday through Thursday, it belongs to the first calendar week of the new year ( ISO 8601 ), since this week then has at least four days in the new year.


The month of January in the Très Riches Heures book of hours

The form jennare> January was already adopted in Middle High German times from the late Latin variant Ienuarius , to which Spanish Enero or Italian Gennaio and French Janvier can be traced, while January is a learned borrowing from the 18th century from the classical Latin (mensis) Ianuarius . In the 19th century, the term January was common in Würzburg, which is located far north in Upper Germany, on an equal footing with January, as numerous official notices prove. In the "Intelligence Gazette for the Grand Duchy of Würzburg" in 1817, for example, it was said that grain could be auctioned "next Monday, January 20th at 2 o'clock" at the Würzburg Rent Office. The word January subsequently replaced January first in the north of the German-speaking area and finally caught on almost everywhere. Even in the south, in Bavaria and Switzerland, January is rarely used in writing.

In other parts of the Upper German-speaking area, such as Austria and South Tyrol, however , January is still the common term for the first month of the year, both colloquially and in written language as well as according to the Austrian dictionary . On the other hand, the use of the term Feber for the second month becomes less frequent. Contrary to common usage in Austria, some Austrian editors replace the word January with January in order to take into account the entire German-speaking area and its book market. The word January is hardly used in Austria.

public holidays

A public holiday in all German-speaking countries is New Year's Day on January 1st. In Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, all of Austria and some Swiss cantons, the Day of the Three Kings on January 6th is legally recognized as a day of celebration or rest. In other parts of Switzerland, Berchtold's Day on January 2nd is a day off. More Holidays and Observances see Category List (Holidays) and list of commemoration and action days .


January is north of the tropic , i.e. in Europe , North America and most of Asia , the coldest month of the year and the northern winter . Only in areas with a very maritime climate (Heligoland, west coast of Ireland, Spanish Atlantic coast) is February the coldest, in areas with an extremely continental climate (parts of Siberia) December is the coldest month on a long-term average.


For January there are numerous farmer rules, which from January weather conclude to the rest of the year and the corresponding harvest, see list of farmer rules .

Web links

Commons : January  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: January  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: January  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: January  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Manfred Clauss : Emperor and God: Rulers Cult in the Roman Empire . Munich: KG Saur Verlag GmbH, night printing of the 1st edition 2001, p. 241 ( limited preview )
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . Ed .: Elmar Seebold. 24., through and exp. Edition. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2002, ISBN 3-11-017472-3 .
  3. ^ Intelligence Gazette for the Grand Duchy of Würzburg No. 4 of January 14, 1817, column 100
  4. Werner Scholze-Stubenrecht (ed.): Duden, The German orthography . The comprehensive standard work based on the new official regulations. 24., completely reworked. and exp. Edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim / Leipzig / Vienna / Zurich 2006, ISBN 3-411-04014-9 .
  5. Duden, German Universal Dictionary . The comprehensive dictionary of meanings in contemporary German with more than 500,000 application examples as well as information on spelling, pronunciation, origin, grammar and style. 6., revised. and exp. Edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim / Leipzig / Vienna / Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-411-05506-7 .
  6. ^ Gregor Retti: Austrian German: Start. In: retti.info. oewb.retti.info, accessed on May 7, 2016 .
  7. Wolfgang Johannes Bekh: Bavarian . Advice for locals and newcomers. 4th, completely revised and exp. Edition. Rosenheimer, Rosenheim 1996, ISBN 3-475-52842-8 .
  8. Petra Rathmanner in an interview with Robert Sedlaczek about the book “Das Österreichische Deutsch”, Wiener Zeitung, Sept. 18, 2004, online version
  9. ^ Ulrich Ammon: The German language in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: the problem of national varieties . Walter de Gruyter, 1995, ISBN 978-3-11-014753-7 , pp. 189 ( books.google.com ).