January Holidays

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  Austrailia Day  |  January 26th since 1788

The quest for the celebration of a united Australian Day and the parallel search for an 'Australian identity' and sense of spirit commenced within a few short years of the First Fleet landing of 1788 and subsequent white settlement on this island continent.

Austrailia Day Official Site

  Chinese New Year  |  January or February

Chinese New Year is the main holiday of the year for more than one quarter of the world's population. Although the People's Republic of China uses the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, a special Chinese calendar is used for determining festivals. Various Chinese communities around the world also use this calendar.

History and Info - The Chinese Calendar

  El Dia de Reyes  |  January 6th

After New Year's Day, Mexican families still have a very special date to commemorate and enjoy. On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus.

Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos

  Elvis Presley's Birthday  |  January 8th

Elvis Aaron Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.

Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, he began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

Elvis Biography at Elvis.com

  Kwanzaa  |  December 26th - January 1st

As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.

Official Kwanzaa Website

  Lohri (India)  |  January 13th

The festival Lohri signifies the harvesting of the Rabi crops. The people of Northern India, especially Punjab and Haryana celebrate Lohri, to mark the end of winter. Harvested fields and front yards are lit up with flames of bonfires, around which people gather to meet friends and relatives and sing folk songs. Children go from house to house singing and collecting money and sweets, which they throw into the bonfires.

Lohri: Festival of India

  Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday  |  Celebrated on the third Monday of January

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example -- the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.

The Meaning of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

  New Year's Day  |  January 1st

Although the new year has been celebrated since prehistoric times, it was celebrated on the vernal equinox rather than what we now consider the first of the year. The Romans were the first to recognize New Years Day on January first. Rather than tie the day to some significant astronomical or agricultural event, in 153 BC the Romans selected it for civil reasons. It was the day after elections in which the newly elected assumed their positions.

New Year's Day at HolidayOrigins.com

  Republic Day (India)  |  January 26th

It was the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at midnight of December 31, 1929 - January 1, 1930, that the Tri-Colour Flag was unfurled by the nationalists and a pledge taken that every year on January 26, the "Independence Day" would be celebrated and that the people would unceasingly strive for the establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic of India. The professed pledge was successfully redeemed on January 26, 1950, when the Constitution of India framed by the Constituent Assembly of India came into force, although the Independence from the British rule was achieved on August 15, 1947.

It is because of this that August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day, while January 26 as Republic Day.

Republic Day of India

  Shogatsu/Japanese New Year (Japan)  |  January 1st to January 3rd

New Year (shogatsu or oshogatsu) is the most important holiday in Japan. Most businesses shut down from January 1 to January 3, and families typically gather to spend the days together.

Years are traditionally viewed as completely separate, with each new year providing a fresh start. Consequently, all duties are supposed to be completed by the end of the year, while bonenkai parties ("year forgetting parties") are held with the purpose of leaving the old year's worries and troubles behind.

Japanese New Year

  Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese lunar New Year)  |  First day of January of the lunar year

AKA Têt Nguyên Dán

Vietnamese New Year is called Nam Moi (literally, New Year), just like the Chinese Xin Nian. However, its popular name is Tet, a phonetic deformation of the Sino-Vietnamese tiet, which designates the joint of a bamboo stem and also a meteorological period of the year. The passage from one period to the next may cause meteorological disturbances (heat, rain, mist... ) to be exorcised by means of ritual sacrifices and festivities. Thus, there are several Tets in the year (Tet of Cold Food, Mid-autumn Tet, Tet of the Kitchen Gods...). The one that takes pride of place is the Tet Nguyen Dan that marks the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year Vietnam Style