After the pool-closing pangs of Labor Day, the candy marketing of Halloween, the rendering of Thanksgiving carbs, and the retail worship through Christmas – take a breath – it’s January!
It’s quiet. Too quiet.
But don’t let the bare, jutting branches and low, gray skies fool you. There’s a lot going on the first month of the year, from food holidays to historic milestones.
The month is rife with government-approved celebrations of food and drink heritage. January is named for the Roman god Janus, who has two faces – one looking back, the other forward. That’s two mouths to feed! Yet, given this month’s daily salute to everything from popcorn to clam chowder, pistachios to blueberry pancakes, this god will need to hit the treadmill by February.
A brief glance: Jan. 1 is Bloody Mary Day, probably stemming from the unofficial Champagne Awareness Night just hours before.
Jan. 5 is National Whipped Cream Day, bringing to mind the iconic Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass album cover.
In praise of misunderstood vegetables, we celebrate National Rhubarb Pie Day on Jan. 23. Here is where a card with a singing chip of Garrison Keillor’s voice would bode well for Hallmark.
Don’t miss one bite or swallow of January. Wouldn’t it be a pisser to find out you’d missed Peking Duck Day long after Jan. 18? (To ensure this doesn’t happen, visit www.funnytummy.com and click on Food Holidays for January 2013, then preheat your oven while reading.)
Moving out of the kitchen, astronomers and Trekkies alike can bask in the celebration of the discovery of the planet Vulcan, as announced in Paris, January 1860.
It was a cold day in 1838 when Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail got their new telegraph system working. At the time, tweeting was over a century away and still pertained to birds.
In January 1784, our historic hippie, Benjamin Franklin, was engaged in a fowl debate over whether the Bald Eagle or the Wild Turkey would be engraved on the national seal.
Back to simpler moments in athletic competition, in January 1887, Thomas Stevens completed his trip around the world on a bike. No kidding and no doping.
On Jan. 20, 1885, LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented his roller coaster structure, but I imagine it wasn’t used until the summer.
In January 1915, liquid fire – or neon – was patented, changing the world of nightclubs, film noir and no-tell motel affairs forever.
Aside from the traditions of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Epiphany, January is kind of up for grabs. It’s a good month to go indoors, create and proclaim. Or feed your face. (If I had to vote in a culinary proclamation day for January, it would be Louisville’s own Hot Brown – a family of four could survive on one for a week.)
If you live in Louisville, the first of January means there are only 120 days until Derby. So either book a flight or buy a hat as soon as you can.